Using potassium carbonate and antimony sulphide, I made a red liquid.
Well because I wanted to prove that you could. Partington mentions it in his massive book on Inorganic chemistry (5th Edition, published in 1937, awarded by Woolwich Polytechnic to S. Holt for Ogranic chemistry, amusingly enough)
When I read this it struck me that it meant that you could make a red solution using two known alchemical ingredients, so maybe some recipes somewhere use it?
Unfortunately, it proved quite hard to make.
I started by heating stibnite (antimony sulphide) and potassium carbonated on my electric cooker. It boiled away for a while, but also bumped quite a lot, (the formation of bubbles of superheated water which then expand violently, making the whole flask shake)
And after heating for half an hour or more, nothing had happened. The water had not changed colour.
So, recalling my experiences with the Divine Water, I resolved to heat it outside on a fire, which has fewer problems with bumping and achieves a greater heat flow into the vessel from all around it, rather than below. And doesn’t switch off when it reaches the boiling temperature of water. After heating for half an hour on a proper fire, with the water boiling away and massive bubbles forming and bursting instantly, I found I had a reddish solution:
So Partington was correct. The problem now is finding an alchemical recipe that uses potassium carbonate or potassium hydroxide and stibnite…
This also reinforces the importance of the correct heat of your fire, as alchemists for the last 1700 years or so have been writing. A home cooker was simply not hot enough in the right way; it could boil the water but not all of it at once, as it were, and would switch off every time it got close to doing so.
The silvery stuff in the picture is the stibnite, caked on the bottom of the vessel, and the red liquid is probably kermes mineral, a kind of mix of antimony oxide and sulphide formed by the reactions between the stibnite and the potassium carbonate.