The portfolio itself is an art object. Shaped like a book, it hinges along the "spine" and opens to reveal two halves. The first half houses reproductions of integral and ancient alchemical texts, printed on handmade rag paper. The second half contains the ten prints by Dalí.
The cover of the portfolio features a mobile resin wheel injected with mercury, a fundamental material in alchemy. The front design is composed of wheels inspired by Raymond Lull's roues combinatoire, or combinatory wheels. Lull was a major influence in Dalí's interest with alchemy. Lull's wheels attempted to codify theosophical and alchemical knowledge into a single system. An example of these is in the gallery below.
Alchimie des Philosophes was a largely collaborative effort, involving a team of researchers who gathered the alchemical texts, artisanal companies, and studios including:
- Published by Art et Valeur, Paris
- Hand-made paper from the Richard de Bas Papermill in Auvergne
- Headings and ornamental capitals from woodcuts by Henri Renaud
- Facsimiles of original documents reproduced at the Jacomet studio
- Work bound in two sections in leather and parchment by Adine of Paris
- Imperial format lamb skin parchment for the prints was hand-finished by Bodin-Joyeux in Chateauroux
- Color lithography done in Paris at the Arts-Litho studio
- Primary researcher: M. René Alleau
- Original prints on parchment combining lithography, serigraphy, and copperplate engraving by Salvador Dalí