Weiser Antiquarian Catalogue 97: Aleister Crowley

At the risk of repeating myself, Weiser Antiquarian’s latest list contains some truly astonishing items. A complete set of The Equinox with Jack Parsons provenance? Wow! Simply, wow!

Without doubt the most significant item in the present catalogue, is the Jack Parsons / Wilfred T. Smith set of Aleister Crowley’s, The Equinox Vol. I, Numbers I – X. The set has an extraordinary provenance – outlined in the listings – and it is quite amazing to think that these are probably the very volumes that Parsons used in the now-famous Babalon Working. Another book with a particularly interesting history is a First Edition of Crowley’s, 777 (1909), which belonged first to someone with Golden Dawn connections, then to a Crowley associate, and most recently to Crowley scholar Nicholas Bishop-Culpeper. Of even greater rarity is a copy of Crowley’s, pseudonymously-published first book Aceldama. A Place to Bury Strangers, (1898). The book is genuinely rare – this is only the second copy that we’ve had in the last twenty-five years (we sold the Bishop-Culpeper copy late last year). The catalogue includes a number of other First Editions published during Crowley’s lifetime, including Alice: An Adultery (1903), The High History of Good Sir Palamedes the Saracen Knight (1912), Household Gods. A Comedy (1912), and a superb copy of the second issue of The Equinox of the Gods (1937).

Amongst the other unusual items in the catalogue are Wilfred T Smith’s set of Sir James Frazer’s, The Golden Bough (12 Volumes + 13th 1920 & 1937), and a good selection of publications produced by Helen Parson’s Smith, including her rare edition of the Shih Yi, A Critical and Mnemonic Paraphrase of the YĆ® King by Ko Yuen (1971). Two interesting handwritten letters by Aleister Crowley to Frieda Harris, shed light on his thoughts on art, the I Ching, and his personal situation during the early years of the Second World War. The flap from a large envelope that he posted from Tunisia in 1925 is sealed with a large blob of blood red wax, which Crowley has impressed with his personal seal of the time, an Eye of Horus within an inverted triangle (pyramid), which is much less rarely encountered than the the seal from the ankh-f-n-khonsu ring.
Other fascinating items are scattered throughout the catalogue: with many of the more “ordinary” books and journals having some interesting quirk or provenance.

Click here to view the catalogue.

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