Weiser Antiquarian Catalog 20: Late Announcement

While the webmaster was on holiday, Weiser Antiquarian published its twentieth catalog, one focused very specifically on Crowley’s Book of Thoth. As a result I was unable to provide it with the publicity it merits and therefore include the text of it as a belated News item only now, after many of the most interesting pieces have sold.

Regular visitors will know the high regard I have for these catalogs: they are wonderful biographical and bibliographical resources in themselves. To those that feel the urge to repeat the tired mantra about how Thelemites should focus on magic and that books and ephemera are just distractions, I would remind them that LAShTAL.COM is the home of The Aleister Crowley Society.

The catalog is reproduced here by kind permission.
http://www.weiserantiquarian.com/catalog/

Welcome to this, the twentieth of our on-line catalogs. As the title suggests this is another of our special-subject lists, in this case devoted to Aleister Crowley, Frieda Harris, and the Thoth Tarot. Most of the items in this catalog are from the collection of Edward Noel Fitzgerald (1908-1958), Frater Agape, a IX degree member of the O.T.O., and friend and follower of Aleister Crowley’s, who was also closely acquainted with Frieda Harris, the ‘artist executant’ of the Tarot designs. Fitzgerald had a passion for all things Crowley-related, and over the years Lady Harris indulged him by giving him what amounted to a small collection of mementos of her collaboration with Crowley on the tarot.

Poor health and a lack of funds forced Fitzgerald’s widow to sell off part of the collection in the 1960s, but a large amount of material, including the Thoth archive, remained undisturbed for the nearly 50 years which passed between her husband’s death and the acquisition of the collection by Weiser Antiquarian Books earlier this year.

It is rather difficult to focus on any single item when faced with an embarrassment of riches like those that made up Fitzgerald’s Thoth collection, but to us one of the most exciting discoveries in it was a crate containing eleven sets of unbound sheets of the First Edition of The Book of Thoth. After considerable deliberation we decided to have each of these bound in a facsimile of the original magnificent half-leather binding. Great effort was taken to match the original materials and style as closely as possible, leather was sourced from a supplier in England, the Egyptian-patterned paper and color plates were specially commissioned from a craftsman printer, and even the original dies – also in Fitzgerald’s possession – were unearthed and used to stamp the gold OTO lamen and Crowley’s seal of Ankh-f-n-khonsu on the spine. Included with each copy sold is an original handwritten letter, signed, by Crowley, to Frieda Harris, and a printed booklet outlining the history and provenance of these particular copies. A detailed description of this new issue of a vintage book, is in Section One of the catalog.

In historical terms, perhaps the most significant single piece in the collection – and indeed arguably one of the most important single items we have handled – is the original typed manuscript, with numerous holograph insertions and additions in Crowley’s handwriting, of The Book of Thoth. A full description of this remarkable piece can be found in Section Two of the catalog.

Section Three of the catalog also contains just one item: a much travelled First Edition of The Book of Thoth, with a rather long and interesting provenance, whilst the Fourth Section comprises a collection of materials relating to the publication of that work. This includes original rough sketches and notes on the Tarot designs which Crowley gave to Harris, proof printings of some of the designs, a signed receipt for a copy of the book, and even the original check – counter-signed by Crowley, which someone used to pay for a copy.

The items in the Fifth Section all revolve around the 1941 exhibition of the original Tarot card designs, held in Oxford, and includes original congratulatory telegrams, catalogs, and even a (very) rough pencil sketch of the layout of the exhibition space by Harris, and the Sixth and Seventh Section contain, respectively, letters from Crowley to Harris, and Harris to Crowley. The final section of the catalog comprises a number of the original metal blocks from which the color plates in the first edition of The Book Of Thoth were printed. These were also used to print the very first, trial printing of some of the Thoth tarot cards in 1943, and are quite unique pieces in the history of the development of the tarot.

At present we have a number of catalogs in preparation: one on books and papers from the library of the head of a British occult fraternity that flourished in the 1940s & 1950s, another on Aleister Crowley rarities, another on Austin Osman Spare, and yet another on Hermetica. We are not quite sure in what sequence they’ll be issued, but all should appear within the next two months. Future catalogs will be devoted to Spiritualism, Mythology, Theosophy, Magic, Grimoires, and other of our specialties.

If you would like to be notified by email when we post a new catalog on-line, please send an email with ‘subscribe’ in the subject line to books@weiserantiquarian.com You can have your name removed from the list at any time, simply by asking, and of course we will not re-supply your details to anyone. Further details about this catalog, and how to purchase books from it, can be found at the end of the listings.

The Book of Thoth – A Limited Edition re-issue of the First Edition.

One of the more unusual treasures in the FitzGerald collection was a printer’s crate which, when opened, was found to contain eleven brand-new, unbound sets of sheets of the First Edition of The Book of Thoth. A closer inspection revealed that none of the sets of sheets had been signed or numbered by Crowley. Ironically it was probably this small oversight that resulted in the preservation of these sheets, thereby enabling us, over sixty years later, to bring out this new issue of the book. The exact train of events is not known, but it seems likely that at some stage in the mid-late 1940s the binders with whom the sheets were stored discovered that the sets of sheets were unsigned, and returned them either to Crowley or – if the discovery was made after his death – to his friend and collaborator Frieda Harris. By the late 1940s the crate was almost certainly in Harris’ possession: if she had not received it direct from the binders, then she had obtained it from Crowley’s estate, of which she was one of the executors. The crate probably sat gathering dust for some time, before Harris passed it, along with a collection of other Thoth tarot-related material to Edward Noel FitzGerald. As recounted earlier, this material was acquired, as a group, some half-a-century later by Weiser Antiquarian Books.

The discovery of the unbound sheets presented a unique quandary, and for some time we deliberated on the best option for the next phase of their existence. Possibilities included leaving them loose (exactly as when they were discovered), leaving them loose but commissioning a custom-made clamshell box to hold each set, or having them bound. When we realized that the collection also contained the specially-struck brass stamps of the O.T.O. lamen and the cartouche of Ankh-f-n-khonsu which Sangorski and Sutcliffe had used to apply the giltwork to the spine of the original First Edition the matter was settled. It seemed obvious that we would have to have the sheets bound, and in a manner that replicated the glorious original as closely as possible.
Permission to re-use the O.T.O. lamen, which is a trademark of the Order, was kindly granted by Hymenaeus Beta. Superb reproductions of the eight colour plates, so good as to be all but indistinguishable from the originals, were prepared for us by Mandrake Press Ltd, of Thame, England, who also supplied the facsimile Egyptian-patterned paper for the boards. A fine, niger morocco leather, as close to the original as could be found, was also sourced from England, and the whole project was then given to a local craft bindery to assemble. The book that resulted is technically speaking a ‘Second Issue’ of the ‘First Edition.’ It differs from the ‘First Issue’ copies that were distributed during and just after Crowley’s lifetime, in several respects. Firstly, it is slightly taller because the top-edge is uncut, whereas in the First Issue it was trimmed, and had gilt applied. The reason for this is two-fold — on the one hand we wanted to preserve the new, ‘unopened’ nature of the text block, and also to ensure that in years to come there would be a relatively clear and simple way of identifying the ‘Second Issue’ from the ‘First Issue’ without us having to mark the text.

The other noticeable difference is that this issue is bound in ‘half-leather’: in other words both the spine and the corners of the boards are leather, rather than being bound in ‘quarter leather’: that is with the spine only made of leather, which is the state in which the ‘First Issue’ is usually found. In fact there was a precedent for the use of half-leather bindings on The Book of Thoth: Crowley himself had eleven copies of the First Issue thus bound, but the extra cost prevented him from having the whole edition bound that way. There is no doubt, though, that the addition of the leather corners was a very useful improvement: simply withdrawing and replacing the book on a shelf a few times was often enough to rub through the soft paper on the points of the boards and have them start to fray. Indeed the problem was so obvious that some of the more enterprising purchasers of the quarter-leather version of the First Issue took matters into their own hands and returned their copies to the binders and paid the extra to have the corners reinforced.

As mentioned above, Crowley had not signed any of the eleven sets of sheets that found their way to the FitzGerald collection. However FitzGerald’s collection did include a number of handwritten letters from Crowley to his collaborator on The Book of Thoth, Lady Harris. All of the letters were signed or initialled by Crowley, and we have included an original letter with each of the eleven copies of this issue: as close to a posthumous signing of the book by the Beast as we could manage! The letters are each written on both sides of a sheet of notepaper, usually about 8″ x 5″, begin and end with the Thelmic greetings (usually written in full, but sometimes in cipher: 93 93/93) and are signed simply ‘Aleister.’ Although Crowley tended not to put the year on them, it is quite clear from the context that most of the letters date from 1941. Most are approx. 250 words, and just simple, friendly updates as to what he was doing at the time. Also in the FitzGerald collection was a roll of sheets of unused mould-made paper of the type on which The Book of Thoth was printed. Crowley had employed this same paper to print the original prospectus for the work, and in keeping with that tradition we had our friends at Mandrake Press Ltd. use those blank sheets to print a four page booklet which recounts the history of the book, and how this new issue came into being. Each copy also has a specially printed bookplate on the front pastedown, stating the provenance of the book, and its limitation.

A technical description of the volume follows:

Aleister Crowley, & Frieda Harris (Lady Harris). The Book of Thoth. A Short Essay on the Tarot of the Egyptians, being the Equinox Volume III, No. V. OTO/Chiswick Press Ltd., London, 1944 / Weiser Antiquarian Books, Maine / 2007. First Edition – Second Issue, Hardcover, Quarto, xii + 288 + [iv] pp. Half leather, over papered boards with Egyptian design. A new issue of this significant work: this issue is Limited to 11 copies, each of which is accompanied by an original autograph letter, signed, from Crowley to the ‘artist executant’ of the book, Lady Harris. The First Edition of The Book of Thoth was published in 1944 in an edition of 200 signed and numbered copies. In 2007 a crate containing 11 sets of unbound, unsigned and unnumbered copies was found in the estate of a friend of Crowley’s: Edward Noel FitzGerald. These sheets formed the basis for the present ‘issue.’ Each has been bound in a facsimile of the original magnificent half-leather binding with papered boards with Egyptian motif.
Great effort has been taken to match the original materials and style as closely as possible, leather was sourced from a supplier in England, the Egyptian-patterned paper and color plates were specially commissioned from a craftsman printer, and even the original dies were unearthed and used to stamp the gold OTO lamen and Crowley’s seal of Ankh-f-n-khonsu on the spine. Included with each copy is an original handwritten letter, signed, by Crowley, to Frieda Harris. The letters are each approx. 250 words, written on both sides of a sheet of notepaper, usually about 8″ x 5″, begin and end with the Thelemic greetings (usually written in full, but sometimes in cipher: 93 93/93) and are signed simply ‘Aleister.’ Although Crowley tended not to put the year on his letters it is clear from the context that almost all date from 1941. Each of the eleven copies also has a bookplate mounted on the front pastedown, stating its limitation and provenance, and a four-page booklet, printed on the same paper as the book itself, outlining the history of the volume. Fine condition. (33056) $2,950.00

The Book of Thoth – The Original Typed Manuscript.

Aleister Crowley, The original typed manuscript of The Book of Thoth with extensive holograph corrections and additions in Crowley’s hand. NP, 1940 – 1944. 264 leaves, typed on the recto only of 8″ x 10″ off-white typing paper. With extensive holograph additions to both the rectos and versos of a number of leaves. This is the final state of the typed manuscript of The Book of Thoth, as provided to the printers by Aleister Crowley. In addition to holograph instructions to the printers, it includes numerous holograph corrections and insertions many of which are quite substantial, filling all the margins of some pages. One additional holograph page (p.24a) has been inserted, and the versos of a number of leaves are entirely taken up with holograph additions in Crowley’s hand. Crowley worked on his ‘Tarot book,’ – the work that would later be published as The Book of Thoth – regularly from 1938 – 1940, dictating some portions of the text to typists, and hand-writing the rest. In October 1940 he completed the first draft of the text and took the untyped sections to an agency to have them typed. The result was a near-complete typed manuscript of the book, which he could then revise and amend, before giving it to the printer for use in the production of proofs. That is the typed manuscript here described. Crowley labored intermittently at the revisions and corrections for just over three years, continuing to work on some sections of the manuscript, whilst the printers were in the process of typesetting others. A number of the holograph additions that Crowley made during this period were quite substantial. On October 9, 1942, Crowley recorded in his diary that he had begun ‘Putting Yi [King] into Court Cards,’ a process that took the best part of a week, and resulted in the insertion, onto the margins and previously-blank versos of the pages, of additional text on Yi King attributions that are equivalent to about a dozen closely-written pages. Though less obvious than the additions, the revisions or corrections that Crowley made to the manuscript are both telling and significant. One significant example is very revealing with regard to Crowley’s attitude to the history of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn. In the final, published version of the text, Crowley described Westcott and his friends as having ‘reconstituted’ the Golden Dawn, and referred to them as being the ‘promulgators,’ of the famed cipher manuscript, the inference being that they were continuing a pre-existing group. However, the manuscript shows that Crowley originally wrote of Westcott having ‘founded’ rather than ‘reconstituted’, the group, and described Westcott and his associates as the ‘authors’ rather than just the ‘promulgators,’ of the cipher manuscripts. Those familiar with the controversy concerning the cipher manuscripts and the foundation of the Golden Dawn will realize that this is no vague question of semantics, but represents two markedly different perspectives (manuscript p. 6, published work p. 7). Study of the manuscript also shows that at the time of its preparation Crowley had not finalized the renaming of the cards of the Thoth deck, and thus he has had to alter by hand the name of the cards ‘Strength’ (to ‘Lust’), ‘Justice’ (to ‘Adjustment’), ‘Temperance’ (to ‘Art’), and ‘Angel or Last Judgment’ (to ‘Aeon.’)
The passages that were subsequently omitted from the published text are also quite telling, and in at least one instance rather funny. Thus one sentence in the published text reads simply: ‘The genius who made this possible was a man named Samuel Liddell Mathers,’ however, the manuscript shows that Crowley had originally written ‘The genius who made this possible was a man named Samuel Liddell Mathers, who married the sister of Henri Bergson, a charming woman, who painted very bad pictures.’ In the manuscript Crowley has struck through the latter half of the sentence, presumably having decided that his critique of Moina Mathers’ artwork was as unnecessary as it was unkind (manuscript p. 7, published work p. 7). The first page of the manuscript has the title ‘A Short Essay on the Tarot of the Egyptians. Part I. The Theory of the Tarot,’ handwritten by Crowley at the head of the page, with an added marginal note ‘Make a title page of this.’ The manuscript begins at the start of the first chapter, and therefore (obviously) does not include the preceding prefaratory material such as the limitation statement, tables of contents, and such, which would not have been prepared until after the rest of the text had been typeset. It also does not include the Bibliographical Note by Soror I.W.E. (Martha Kuntzel) which was probably added as an afterthought. It comprises 5 sections: Part I, The Theory of the Tarot (68 pages), Part II, The Atu [with appendix] (106 pages), Part III, The Court Cards (33pages), & ‘Correspondences’ (14 pages) [Appendix B of the published work]. The ‘Correspondences’ section is lacking the final leaf, which would have had the explanation of ‘Diagram 9. The Essential Dignities of the Planets,’ which appears on the bottom half of p. 277 in the published text. The manuscript does not include Part IV – The Small Cards (pp. 177 – 220 of the published work), and Appendix A (pp. 249 – 260 of the published work), which may well have been loaned to someone by Crowley after he had received them back from the printers, but not returned. The manuscript also does not include any of the diagrams or plates found in the published version, nor the Tables and Diagrams (pp. 278 – 287 of the published work). Crowley apparently reworked these from material he had put together at a much earlier time, and presumably did not have them finalised until the proofs of the rest of the text were completed. Otherwise the manuscript is complete. FitzGerald collection.

Some darkening to the page edges, a few of which have some short tears, but overall VG condition. Now preserved in a specially made cloth clamshell box, with leather title label on the spine. A unique and important artifact in the publishing history of one of Crowley’s most significant works. (32773) $40,000.00

The Book of Thoth – A First Edition.

Aleister Crowley, & Frieda Harris (Lady Harris). The Book of Thoth. A Short Essay on the Tarot of the Egyptians, being the Equinox Volume III No. V. London: OTO/Chiswick Press Ltd., 1944. First Edition, Signed and Numbered. Hardcover, Quarto, xii + 288 + [iv] pp. The First Edition of this significant work. Limited to 200 copies signed and numbered by Crowley, this being copy No. 48 signed: ‘To Mega Therion [greek letters] 666 9 = 2 A.: A.:’ Original magnificent quarter-leather binding with papered boards with Egyptian motif by Sangorski & Sutcliffe. Gilt title and designs to spine, tipped in color plates, b&w illustrations. Printed by the Chiswick Press on Arnold Unbleached paper. We know from annotations in Crowley’s personal copy of The Book of Thoth in the Yorke collection, that this copy (No. 48) was originally bought by a Mrs. L. Whincop. Not much is known about Mrs. Whincop, other than that she and her husband were keen anthroposophists, and that she bought it as a present for him as he had a keen in interest in the tarot. At some stage it left their hands, and apparently made its way to Turin (Italy), where it was acquired by a German born occultist in 1959. He took it with him, first to Latin America, and then to the United States where he eventually settled. He has penned his name and purchase details: ‘May 12 1959 18h30 Torino’ in a neat sloping hand in the left margin besides the title on the title page. He has also penciled marginal notes in a clear, minute, hand on about 30 pages. Being lightly written in pencil they could be relatively easily erased, if the next owner so desired, though it would seem a shame to do so, being part of the book’s history. One passage has been underlined, and one sentence ‘shadowed’ in yellow pencil. Again this could be removed, but perhaps not quite so easily. A short tear, closed with an old tape repair, in the bottom margin of page 109/100, not affecting the text. The boards have a little shelfwear, with the extremes of the points rubbed through and slightly rounded as almost always with this book. There are also a few discolored patches – slightly larger than a thumbprint – to the leather of the spine. Despite these signs of use, it is still a solid, attractive copy of a magnificent book. (32809) SOLD

Materials Relating to the Publication of The Book of Thoth.

Aleister Crowley, Book of Thoth (Tarot) Prospectus. California: OTO, ND [1944]. First edition. Single large sheet folded once to make 4pp, sm. 4to, 10″ x 7 1/2 “. This is the U.S. version of the prospectus that was issued to promote the first edition of The Book of Thoth. This prospectus also includes an announcement on the back page for a number of study classes run by Max Schneider of Beverly Hills, who was an Agape Lodge member at that time. Very light wear. Near fine condition. (6674) SOLD

Aleister Crowley, A preliminary sketch of the tarot design, ‘The Empress,’ in black ink and pencil, with numerous annotations in Crowley’s handwriting. Given by Crowley to Frieda Harris for use as a preliminary guide to the symbolism and attributes of the card, as a basis for her own design for the Thoth tarot deck. [London]: NP, circa 1940. Drawn on the verso of a single 8″ x 10″ printed broadside advertising the publication of the ‘Equinox of the Gods.’ The leaflet, which is in the form of a typeset letter, signed [in type] by one A. L. Alexander, is itself one of the more unusual pieces of Crowley ephemera. Of particular interest is just how close this rough sketch by Crowley is to the finished card is – in detail, if not in overall appearance. FitzGerald collection. Dusty, a number of small tears and chips, creased from being folded, still near VG condition. (32794) SOLD

Aleister Crowley, A preliminary sketch of the tarot design, known variously as ‘The Magus’ or ‘The Magician. ‘ In black ink and pencil, with numerous annotations in Crowley’s handwriting. Given by Crowley to Frieda Harris for use as a preliminary guide to the symbolism and attributes of the card, as a basis for her own design for the Thoth tarot deck. [London]: NP, circa 1940. Drawn on the recto of a single 7″ x 5 1/4″ sheet of off-white notepaper. An extremely crude preliminary sketch. Although the sketch does not have a title, a number of the attributes listed: dog faced baboon in lower right, caduceus in center, papyrus scroll in the main figure’s grasp, etc., suggest that the design is almost certainly a preliminary sketch of the Tarot trump known variously as ‘The Magus’ or ‘The Magician.’ FitzGerald collection. A single crease from being folded, otherwise VG+ condition. (32795) SOLD

Aleister Crowley, Two pages of rough drawings, apparently showing designs for tarot spreads. Presumably related to the preparation of The Book of Thoth. [London]: NP, circa 1940. Two 8″ x 10″ sheets of cheap typing paper, with rough pencil drawings of Tarot spreads on the rectos only of each. A few words in Crowley’s handwriting: “Trumps, 3 mothers elements, 7 double planets, 12 singles zodiac,” on one page. FitzGerald collection. VG+ condition. (32791) $600.00

Aleister Crowley, Very rough notes, with design fragments, for the tarot designs, ‘Strife,’ ‘Victory,’ ‘Valour,’ ‘Swiftness,’ ‘Oppression,’ and another. In pencil. Given by Crowley to Frieda Harris as a preliminary guide to the symbolism and attributes of the cards of what would become the Thoth tarot deck. [London]: NP, circa 1940. On both sides of a single 12 1/2″ x 7 34″ sheet of cheap off-white ruled notepaper. A crude preliminary sketch and notes: probably a first starting point, to accompany verbal discussions. FitzGerald collection. Cheap paper has numerous chips and tears around the edges, particularly at the bottom of the page. Still an unusual memento. VG+ condition. (32796) SOLD

Aleister Crowley and Frieda Harris, An original telegram sent by Harris to Crowley, heavily annotated by Crowley, with a handwritten letter by Crowley, signed with his initials, on the verso. [London]: NP, NP [1941]. An original telegram, 5 1/4″ x 8″, on buff Post Office stationery, sent by Harris to Crowley on Nov. 8, 1941. The telegram refers to a miscommunication, in which Sun Engraving, who were to prepare the printing plates for The Book of Thoth, failed to collect four of the pictures they were supposed to photograph and color check. It reads “Sun Engraving Unable Collect 4 Pictures Please Arrange Immediately Have Wired Swain Harris.” Over the top of this, Crowley has written in bold handwriting: “2 unnecessary journeys, 2 unnecessary telegrams, 1 unnecessary letter, 1 unnecessary trunk call, 2 useless telephone calls, all because they wouldn’t keep to the arrangement made by you.’ On the reverse Crowley has written a 200 page letter to Harris, mostly devoted to berating Sun Engraving, and their mismanagement. Signed with his initials ‘A.C.’ FitzGerald collection. The cheap paper is rather browned and creased, all else VG. (32793) SOLD

Aleister Crowley, and Frieda Harris. Original proof printings of two of the color Tarot designs, ‘Lust’ and ‘Ace of Disks,’ for The Book of Thoth. [London]: NP, circa 1943. Eight 9″ x 11 1/2″ sheets of china-paper, each with two different colored printings of the two Tarot designs per page, the sheets secured in protective plain paper wrappers by two brass pins. The Book of Thoth contained eight tipped-in color plates of Tarot designs, each printed using the collotype process, one of the best methods for reproduction of colored art available at the time. This ‘booklet’ comprises proof pulls of each of the six separate color runs for two of the cards, ‘Lust’ and the ‘Ace of Disks.’ The name of the ink-type is pencilled into the margin of each sheet. The actual size of each image is 3 3/4 x 5 1/4 inches, approx. the same size as those in the published book. These proof pulls would have been supplied to either Crowley or Harris by the printers, for their approval, before the final printing. FitzGerald collection. A vertical crease down the middle of the ‘booklet’ – in the blank between the two cards – where it has once been folded, and top wrapper nearly detached, otherwise VG. (32785) SOLD

Aleister Crowley and Frieda Harris, Original proof printings of two of the color Tarot designs,’The Hierophant’ and ‘Ace of Swords’, for The Book of Thoth. [London]: NP, circa 1943. Eight 9″ x 11 1/2″ sheets of china-paper, each with two different colored printings of the two Tarot designs per page, the sheets secured in protective plain paper wrappers by two brass pins. The Book of Thoth contained eight tipped-in color plates of Tarot designs, each printed using the collotype process, one of the best methods for reproduction of colored art available at the time. This ‘booklet’ comprises proof pulls of each of the six separate color runs for two of the cards ‘The Hierophant’ and ‘Ace of Swords,’ which when applied one atop the other gave the full-color effect, plus two different sheets of the final full-color designs for these two cards. The name of the ink-type is penciled into the margin of each sheet. The actual size of each image is 3 3/4 x 5 1/4 inches, approx. the same size as those in the published book. These proof pulls would have been supplied to either Crowley or Harris by the printers, for their approval, before the final printing. FitzGerald collection. A vertical crease down the middle of the ‘booklet’ – in the blank between the two cards – where it has once been folded, and a large segment torn from the back wrapper, otherwise VG. (32798) SOLD

Aleister Crowley, and Frieda Harris. Original proof printings of two pages reproducing black and white tarot designs for The Book of Thoth. [London]: NP, circa 1944. Two 6″ x 8″ sheets of matt photographic type paper, each reproducing, somewhat crudely, four black and white designs of the Thoth tarot cards. The exact purpose of these pages is unknown, but judging by their crude appearance they were probably some sort of early proof sheet. They were presumably supplied to either Crowley or Harris by the printers, presumably for their approval. FitzGerald collection. VG+ condition. (32786) SOLD

Aleister Crowley and Frieda Harris, An Original Telegram Sent by Harris to Crowley. [London]: NP, NP [1941]. An original telegram 51/4″ x 8″ on buff Post Office stationery, sent by Frieda Harris to Aleister Crowley. Harris sent the telegram on December 19, 1941. In it she enquires after his health, and announces that she has finished the Mercury design for the Thoth tarot. It reads “Are You Alright Mercury Finished Harris.” Crowley recorded his receipt of it in his diary for that day observing: “F.H. wired Mercury finished. I hope so.” The cheap paper is somewhat browned, otherwise VG. (32788) SOLD

Aleister Crowley, A single page hand written, signed document: a receipt made out to Anne Macky for Ten Guineas, in payment for a copy of The Book of Thoth. London, [England] November 19, 1943. London: 1943. A single page receipt handwritten on a sheet of pale blue O.T.O. notepaper (5″ x 8″) headed with the O.T.O. lamen (pyramid, dove and chalice) printed in red. To the left of the lamen Crowley has written his address of the time: 93 Jermyn Street S.W.1, to its right the date, Nov. 19, ’43 e.v. Below this Crowley has written seven lines, acknowledging the receipt – on behalf of the Grand Treasurer General [of the O.T.O.] of Ten Guineas from Mrs. A. Macky for copy No. 20 of The Book of Thoth. Crowley has affixed a postage stamp to the bottom of the page, and has written the letters O.T.O., the date, and signed his name across this, thereby making it an officially recognized document. The ‘Mrs. A Macky’ to whom it is made out was Anne Macky, Soror Fiat-Yod of the O.T.O. For a time she engaged in a lengthy correspondence with Crowley on magical matters, and it was his letters to her that formed the basis of the posthumously published book Magick Without Tears. The document is from the estate of Edward Bryant (1920-1998). Bryant was a friend of Frieda Harris’s, who introduced him to Crowley in January 1943. He quickly fell under the Beast’s sway, and became involved in the publication of The Book of Thoth, as well as other of Crowley’s projects. It was in turn through Bryant that Anne Macky came into Crowley’s circle. Very Good condition, without creases or tears. (32774) $1,000.00

Aleister Crowley & Frieda Harris, An unissued 4 page gathering from the First Edition of The Book of Thoth. London: OTO/Chiswick Press Ltd., 1944. First edition. A single sheet of quality mould-made paper, folded once to give four 7 1/2″ x 10″ pages. They are from the plates section of the book, each page of which has four printed black and white tarot designs printed on it. Unissued, presumably left-overs from the printers. An unusual souvenir.. FitzGerald collection. Please note this is for four pages only of the first edition (2 conjunct leaves). A little dusty, otherwise VG+. (32810) $40.00

Aleister Crowley & Frieda Harris. A group of 10 unissued, unfolded sheets from the First Edition of The Book of Thoth. London: OTO/Chiswick Press Ltd., 1944. First Edition. Each sheet of quality mould-made paper measures 30″ x 20″, and has eight 7 1/2″ x 10″ pages printed on each side. Thus 160 pages in all. Random from within the volume. Mostly text, though with some of the Kabbalistic diagrams that appear at the end of the volume. Unissued, presumably left-overs from the printers. An unusual souvenir. FitzGerald collection. Please note this is for 160 pages only of the first edition, on 10 leaves, unfolded and uncut. A little dusty, otherwise VG+. (32811) $200.00

Frieda Harris – associate of Aleister Crowley. Winchelsea. A Legend. With Illustrations by the Author. London: Selwyn & Blount, 1926. First Edition. Hardcover, Small Oblong Quarto, 7 1/2 x 9 1/2 inches. Decorated paper wrappers with color cloth insert over cloth boards. A short mythic fantasy with four full page color illustrations. An early work by Frieda Harris. Although not strictly related to The Book of Thoth, it gives an interesting glimpse of her early work prior to her collaboration with Crowley. Paper covering of boards somewhat rubbed, particularly at edges, where it is starting to fray. Still a VG copy. (32813) $225.00

Frieda Harris & Aleister Crowley, [association copy] Francis [François] Rabelais, Five Books of the Lives, Heroic Deeds and Sayings of Gargantua and his Son Pantagruel. 2 Vol. Set. Translated by Sir Thomas Urquhart of Cromarty & Peter Anthony Motteux. Illustrations by Lousi Chalon. London: Lawrence and Bullen, 1892. First Edition Thus. Hardcovers, 2 Vols. Small Folios, 11 x 7 3/4 inches. xlviii + 342pp, xiv + 456pp. Original green patterned cloth with gilt titling etc. to spines, and small gilt decorative devices on front covers. Title pages in red & black. One of the best English language editions of Rabelais. With presentation inscription from Frieda Harris to Aleister Crowley: ‘To my dear Aleister with all my best wishes from Frieda Harris Xmas 1942.’ Crowley, who was of course a great fan of Rabelais, was delighted with the gift, recording in his diary “Frieda brought me the Laurence and Bullen Urquhart and Motteux for a present! What a peach!” (unpublished diary, Dec. 23, 1942). It was probably no co-incidence that she selected a work for him that was printed by the Chiswick Press, one of his favourite printers, and the one to whom they would turn when the time came to publish The Book of Thoth. FitzGerald collection. Although not certain it seems likely that Harris reclaimed the set from Crowley’s estate after his death, and in turn passed it FitzGerald, who was a keen collector of everything associated with Crowley. Boards a little rubbed around the edges, still overall VG+ condition of this remarkable association set. (32814) SOLD

Aleister Crowley, & Frieda Harris, Two Tarot Cards – ‘The Lovers’ and ‘The Ace of Swords,’ from the 1943 test printing of the Thoth Deck. [London]: NP, circa 1943. Two 5 1/4″ x 3 1/2″ color-printed sample cards: one of ‘The Lovers,’ and one of ‘The Ace of Swords.’ In 1943 Crowley had a series of collotype printing blocks made to reproduce in color the images of seven individual tarot cards plus the design that he intended to have printed on the reverse side of each card. The plates were primarily struck so that high-quality color prints could be made to tip into his forthcoming The Book of Thoth, however he also took advantage of their availability to have a small test run of those cards made, for distribution to friends and acquaintances who might be persuaded to help finance the full printing of the pack. These are two of that test run. Each with the Rose Cross design on the back. Very unusual, and the true first printing of one of the most famous tarot decks. (32860) SOLD

Aleister Crowley, An Original Cheque, Drawn on Barclays Bank, Payable to Aleister Crowley. Signed by Crowley on the back. 1944. A bank cheque, 6″ x 3 1/2′”, made out to Aleister Crowley Esquire, for the sum of Ten Guineas. Dated July 20th, 1944. Signed by Crowley on the reverse. The cheque is for Ten Guineas – the price of a copy of The Book of Thoth – and was received by Crowley in payment for a copy from an acquaintance of his with the surname Feather. The name ‘Feather’ crops up half-a-dozen times in Crowley’s diaries of the period, but the nature of their acquiantance is not apparent. As was usual with cheques at that time, the back of the cheque had to be counter-signed by the recipient, and, once cleared, the original was returned to the account holder for their records. Obviously in this case it was kept as a souvenir, having Crowley’s signature on the reverse. The usual stamps etc. on the front. Some foxing and a few small tears around the edges of the cheque, otherwise VG. (33059) $450.00

Items Relating to the 1941 Exhibition of the Original Tarot Card Designs.

By mid 1941 Frieda Harris had finished preliminary, and in some cases final, versions of the watercolor paintings of the designs for the Thoth tarot deck. She was very keen to exhibit them, in part to get some measure of how the public would respond, but also with the idea that she might find potential investors for the publication of the deck. With Crowley’s acquiescence, she made arrangements for a show to be held at the Nicholson and Venn Galleries, in Oxford, in June 1941. The Beast himself was persuaded not to attend, and to generally keep a low profile lest preconceptions about him scare off the polite and moneyed whom Harris hoped to attract.

Despite her precautions there was a last minute panic, and Nicholson and Venn, withdrew from the arrangement shortly before the exhibition was due to open, presumably fearful of the adverse publicity it might attract. Harris was forced to move the exhibition to a hastily hired room at the prestigious and conveniently-close Randoph Hotel. Crowley, was understandably furious with Nicholson and Venn, and additionally accused the management of failing to forward important mail to him that had been sent care of their address, effectively stealing it. The items which follow mostly relate to that ill-fated first exhibition.

Aleister Crowley and Frieda Harris, Exhibition of Playing Cards The Tarot (Book of Thoth) 78 Paintings According to the Initiated Tradition and Modern Scientific Thought with other Occult and Alchemical Designs.(London): Privately Printed, [1941]. First Edition – First Issue. Softcover, 8vo, 8 x 5 inches (21 x 12.5 cm). 20pp. Original wrappers, the upper wrapper of which reproduces in color an early design of the first trump, ‘The Magician’ (when the deck was eventually published the title was changed to ‘The Magus’ and a much different design used). The scarce first issue. A catalogue produced to accompany the first exhibition of the designs for the Thoth cards, which was supposed to have been held at the Nicholson and Venn Galleries, in Oxford, in June 1941. The catalogue begins with a two-page introduction, ‘The Tarot (Book of Thoth)’ which is followed by a brief description of the main attributes of each of the 78 cards. The text is unsigned, but was apparently written up from notes provided by Crowley. At the last moment Frieda Harris was forced to relocate the exhibition when Nicholson and Venn suddenly reneged on the arrangement, presumably fearing adverse publicity. Crowley was understandably furious when told of their decision, and in a letter to Harris shortly thereafter wrote “I would like a package of catalogues, with the names of any liars and thieves cut out.” Harris duly obliged, removing the bottom half of the title page of the catalogue – that is the section on which the name, address and other details of now-loathed gallery appeared. Aside from deference to Crowley’s wishes there may have been some pragmatism involved in her action, for she could thus reuse the catalogues without risk of causing further confusion. Whatever her motivation there is no doubt that she clipped the title-page of the vast majority of the catalogues: they are very seldom seen ‘unclipped.’ This is one of the scarce ‘unclipped’ copies, that is with the title page still intact. This particular booklet is from the estate of Edward Bryant (1920-1998). Bryant was a friend of Frieda Harris’s, who introduced him to Crowley in January 1943. He quickly fell under the Beast’s sway, and became involved in the publication of The Book of Thoth, as well as other of Crowley’s projects. Two pin holes and a few light marks to the wrappers, all else VG.+. (32858) SOLD

Aleister Crowley and Frieda Harris, Exhibition of Playing Cards The Tarot (Book of Thoth) 78 Paintings According to the Initiated Tradition and Modern Scientific Thought with other Occult and Alchemical Designs. (London): Privately Printed, [1941]. First Edition – Second Issue. Softcover, 8vo, 8 x 5 inches. 20pp. Original wrappers, the upper wrapper of which reproduces in colour an early design of the first trump, The Magician (when the deck was eventually published the title was changed to ‘The Magus’ and a much different design used). A catalogue produced to accompany the first exhibition of the designs for the Thoth cards, which was supposed to have been held at the Nicholson and Venn Galleries, in Oxford, in June 1941. The catalogue begins with a two-page introduction, ‘The Tarot (Book of Thoth)’ which is followed by a brief description of the main attributes of each of the 78 cards. The text is unsigned, but was apparently written up from notes provided by Crowley. As outlined in the listing above, Crowley had Frieda Harris clip the details of the Nicholson and Venn exhibition from the bottom of the title-page after they withdrew from the agreement to host the show. Copies such as this – which have been thus altered – technically qualify as the ‘second issue’ of the catalogue. The booklet is from the estate of Edward Bryant (1920-1998). Bryant was a friend of Frieda Harris’s, who introduced him to Crowley in January 1943. He quickly fell under the Beast’s sway, and became involved in the publication of The Book of Thoth, as well as other of Crowley’s projects. Title page clipped (as noted). All else VG.+ (32784) $95.00

Aleister Crowley, and Frieda Harris. An Original Telegram Sent by Crowley to Harris at the time of the supposed opening of the abortive Nicholson and Venn exhibiton of the Thoth Tarot designs. [London]: NP, [1941]. An original telegram 51/4″ x 8″ on buff Post Office stationery, sent by Crowley to Frieda Harris. Crowley sent the telegram to Harris on June 7, 1941, the day that the exhibition of the Tarot cards was supposed to take place at the Nicholson and Venn gallery in Oxford. The show was literally cancelled at the last moment by the gallery, though Harris was able to move it rapidly to a hotel around the corner. Obviously Crowley knew none of this when he sent the telegram. It was (mis)addressed to Lady Harrin [sic] 46 High Street Oxford and reads simply “Hermes Eima 418 Success 666 Nine Equals Two.” Crowley clearly thought the telegram significant, as he even went so far as to record the text in his diary for that day. The cheap paper is rather creased, and is torn in two, vertically, about 1/3 of the way across. This could probably be relatively simply repaired by a professional. All else VG. (32787) SOLD

Aleister Crowley and Frieda Harris, An original telegram sent by Crowley to Harris at the time of the abortive Nicholson and Venn exhibiton of the Thoth Tarot designs. [London]: NP, [1941] . An original telegram 5 1/4″ x 8″ on buff Post Office stationery. Crowley sent the telegram to Harris on June 9, 1941, several days after the exhibition of the Tarot cards was supposed to have opened at the Nicholson and Venn gallery in Oxford. The show was literally cancelled at the last moment by the gallery, but Harris neglected to inform Crowley, or indeed to communicate with him at all. Crowley, who was a 2 hour rail journey away in the town of Maidenhead, was left uneasy and wondering what had happened. He wrote of his frustration in his diary, and recorded sending this telegram at 10.00am: “Silence Extremely Distressing Aleister Maidenhead 1126” [his phone number]. In his diary Crowley noted that no reply had been heard from by 8.20pm. When, a few days later, she eventually did contact him, she claimed to have lost his address, an excuse with which Crowley was singularly unimpressed. FitzGerald collection. The cheap paper is rather creased, and is torn in two, vertically, roughly down the middle. This could probably be relatively simply repaired by a professional. All else VG. (32789) SOLD

Aleister Crowley and Frieda Harris, An original telegram sent by a friend of Harris’ [referred to only as ‘Mick’] to her at the time of the abortive Nicholson and Venn exhibiton of the Thoth Tarot designs. [London]: NP, [1941]. An original telegram 5 1/4″ x 8″ on buff Post Office stationery. A congratulatory telegram sent to Harris on June 8, 1941, a day after the exhibition of the Tarot cards was supposed to have opened at the Nicholson and Venn gallery in Oxford. It reads simply “Success for your show – Love Mick” and was sent to her care of the gallery. FitzGerald collection. The cheap paper is rather creased, and is torn in two, vertically, roughly down the middle. This could probably be relatively simply repaired by a professional. All else VG. (32790) $50.00

Frieda Harris, A Crude Crayon Sketch, Apparently Showing Tarot Card Designs On A Wall. [London]: NP, circa 1941. A single 8″ x 10″ sheet of cheap typing paper with a crude crayon sketch, apparently showing tarot card designs on a wall. Although unsigned it was almost certainly drawn by Frieda Harris, presumably to demonstrate to Gallery owners, and probably Crowley, the way in which she foresaw the tarot designs being portrayed at an exhibition. FitzGerald collection. VG+ condition. (32792) SOLD

Letters from Aleister Crowley to Frieda Harris.

Aleister Crowley, An autograph letter, Signed, from Aleister Crowley to Lady Harris (Frieda Harris). May 9 [1942] . London. Written on all four sides of two sheets of cheap 8 x 5 inch pale blue notepaper, simply headed ‘140 Piccadilly, W 1,’ Die Saturn [Saturday] ‘May 9’ at the top of the first page. Approx. 350 words. A chatty letter in which Crowley discussed the reasons for his recent move, his new accommodation and furnishings “I have Byron’s bath. It’s a lovely piece of marble with lion’s heads. It’s all marble here; the rest a mixture of decay and blitz!” and his reasons for moving. There is some discussion of the preparation of the printing blocks for the designs of the cards ‘The Hierophant’ and ‘Abundancy,’ and the payment therefore. Much of the rest of the letter is devoted to a discussion of Harris’ failed intervention in manoeuvres by Crowley to get a titled gentleman to part with some money. The letter begins and ends with the Thelemic greetings, and closes with ‘Yours ever, dear Frieda.’ It is signed simply “Aleister.” FitzGerald collection. Paper a little yellowed at the edges, and with a couple of old pin holes, otherwise Very Good condition, with just the usual light creases from having been folded to fit into an envelope. (32775) $900.00

Aleister Crowley, An autograph letter, Signed, from Aleister Crowley to Lady Harris (Frieda Harris). ND [June 1941] . Written on three sides of a sheet of quality parchment notepaper, folded once to give four 7 x 5 1/2 inch pages. The O.T.O. dove and chalice lamen printed in red at the top of the first page, beside which Crowley has written ‘die solis’ [Sunday], ‘Thames Hotel, Maidenhead.’ Although undated the contents of the letter indicate that it was almost certainly written on either Sunday June 8, 1941, or Sunday June 15, 1941. Crowley obviously penned this letter just after the abortive Nicholas & Venn exhibition of the Tarot cards was supposed to have opened. He had evidently heard that something had gone amiss, but had no detail, or indeed any communication from Harris on the matter, and was obviously deeply irritated by it: “I just couldn’t help myself from wondering what happened at Oxford. Was the show opened at all? If so by whom? Or did the police pinch the whole crowd? I had it in my stupid mind that somebody or other would let me know. How utterly silly of me! What can it possibly matter whether I know or not? … [etc.] Approx. 250 words. The letter begins and ends with the Thelemic greetings. It is signed simply “Aleister,” with a huge phallic ‘A’. FitzGerald collection. The letter has been torn horizontally across the middle, and is in two halves. The tear is quite clean, and it would probably be possible to have it almost invisibly repaired, however we are selling it ‘as is.’ A few light creases but otherwise Very Good. (32776) SOLD

Aleister Crowley, (Signed). An autograph letter, Signed, from Aleister Crowley to Lady Harris (Frieda Harris). March 11 [1941] . Written on all four sides of two sheets of thick 8 x 5 inch off-white note-paper. Headed simply, “The Gardens, [Torquay], March 11.” The letter begins gloriously: “Stipend but no letter – treacle without the brimstone!” and then rambles on for four pages, mainly about Crowley’s attitudes to money, his own sense of honour with regard to it, and Frieda Harris’ failings in not coming across with enough of it. Includes a long and rather bizarre instructional anecdote on the wise use of financial resources! Approx. 420 words. The letter begins and ends with the Thelemic greetings, and is signed simply “Aleister” in small letters. FitzGerald collection. Pages a little yellowed and with a couple of pin holes and rust spots from a pin that must have once secured them. Otherwise Very Good. (32777) $800.00

Aleister Crowley, An autograph letter, Signed, from Aleister Crowley to Lady Harris (Frieda Harris). March 14 [1941] . Written on all four sides of two sheets of thick 8 x 5 inch off-white note-paper. Headed simply, “The Gardens, [Torquay], March 14”. The letter begins with a sustained joke about someone who “told him not to tell you that I had told him what you told me that you had told him …’ etc. etc. Crowley goes on to gleefully report that “I am drunk with joy. Karl Germer escaped from Brussels.’ He then discusses his own plans to rent a local house called ‘Moongates’ – ‘a perfect place for an artist and sun-worshipper’ – to use as a new Abbey of Thelema. He also refers to the Tao Teh King, and – at some length – the state of his health. Crowley has tipped a newspaper clipping with a story he obviously found amusing onto the first page of the letter. Approx. 420 words. The letter begins and ends with the Thelemic greetings, and is signed simply “Aleister” in small letters. FitzGerald collection. The attached newsclipping has left some shadowing beneath it and the pages are a little yellowed and with a couple of pin holes and rust spots from a pin that must have once secured them. Otherwise Very Good. (32778) $900.00

Aleister Crowley, An autograph letter, Signed, from Aleister Crowley to Lady Harris (Frieda Harris). March 29 [1941]. Written on all four sides of two sheets of thick 8 x 5 inch thick, cream, note-paper. Headed simply, “Barton Brow, Great Hill Road, Torquay, March 29.” In the course of the letter Crowley mentions his move from ‘The Gardens,’ and writes: “I am standing tiptoe upon a little hill and expecting nothing particular to happen. …. ” “This place seems ideal to me as the first nucleus of an Abbey; it’s ever so far from nowhere.” He then moves on to the subject of the tarot designs, observing: “I hope you are going strong again – I do want to see the Princes, A.C., 4 D.” The body of the letter takes up the first two pages and begins and ends with the Thelemic greetings, and is signed simply “Aleister” Pages 3 and 4 are ‘P.S.’ in which Crowley discourses critically on a work by Hogben (presumably Science for the Citizen), recommends Bertrand Russell’s The Scientifc Outlook, and then examines Harris’ flaws and failings at length, and tells her how she can right them! Approx. 600 words. The ‘P.S.’ is separately signed ‘666.’ FitzGerald collection. The pages are a little yellowed and have a couple of pin holes and rust marks from a pin that must have once secured them. Otherwise Very Good. (32779) $950.00

Aleister Crowley, An autograph letter, Signed, from Aleister Crowley to Lady Harris (Frieda Harris). Jan. 8 [1941]. Written on all sides of a sheet of off-white notepaper, folded once to give four 8 x 5 inch pages. Crowley has written ‘die Mercurii’ [‘Wednesday’], ‘Jan. 8,’ and although otherwise undated the alignment of day and date and contents of the letter indicate that it was written on January 8, 1941. Much of the letter is taken up with business matters, details of money received and to be paid, etc. etc. Crowley also refers to a planned visit by Frieda Harris, suggesting that she delay it until she has completed the design of the Princes of the Tarot deck. He also chides her on the subject of her Yi King studies, which clearly he does not feel are up to par. The letter begins and ends with the Thelemic greetings, and is signed “Fraternally, Aleister.” FitzGerald collection. The letter has been torn horizontally across the middle, and is in two halves. The tear is quite clean, and it would probably be possible to have it almost invisibly repaired, however we are selling it ‘as is.’ A few light creases but otherwise Very Good. (32780) $800.00

Aleister Crowley, An autograph letter, Signed, from Aleister Crowley to ‘Egeria’ [Lady Harris: Frieda Harris]. May 26 [1941]. Written on all six sides of three sheets of 8 x 5 inch buff-colored notepaper. Headed simply, “41 Isaacs Road, Barton, Torquay, May 26.” Although otherwise undated the contents of the letter indicate that it was written on May 26, 1941. A long, entertaining an interesting letter. Crowley starts: “Your Magus [tarot design] came this morning: he took full possession at once. So I’m free of the house, and all claims are discharged.” He goes on to describe his accommodation, health, and desire to leave Torquay “the Torquay current is exhausted”, possibly to visit Harris. After a personal digression in which appears to liken himself to Einstein (in a humble way) he bemoans the absence of ‘proofs.’ The letter begins and ends with the Thelemic greetings, and is signed “yours, Aleister,” with a large phallic ‘A.’ The final leaf is a ‘memo’ in which Crowley mentions wanting more of the [trial] tarot cards, some proof pulls of the Magus design, advises her of his new address, etc. Approx. 400 words. FitzGerald collection. A few light creases but otherwise Very Good. (32781) $950.00

Aleister Crowley, An autograph letter, Signed, from Aleister Crowley to ‘Frieda’ [Lady Harris: Frieda Harris]. April 24 [1941]. Written on all sides of three sheets of 8 x 5 inch pages buff-colored notepaper. Headed simply, “B[arton] B[row], Barton, April 29.” Although otherwise undated the contents of the letter indicate that it was written on April 29, 1941. An important and interesting letter. After some general casual chat about his living arrangments: “Luckily Mrs. Horner found a really first-class maid, hard-working, sane, cheerful, a really good influence in any house,’ health, etc., Crowley expresses his joy that Harris is “getting to understand AL.” He writes of his pleasure at the thought of her impending visit, and how he is looking forward to seeing the Tarot designs. After a discussion of finances, Crowley then discourses at some length on his proposed new ‘Abbey’ – “The ultimate aim is to have quite populous Abbeys,with every type of talent represented, so that there will be a body of capable and intelligent people to rule the herd, and save the useful elements in our past civilization from being swamped by it. At that stage the difficulty will be to find people for Lord Abbot …..” etc. etc. He also asks Harris to find him certain O.T.O. papers and books that he specifies, including The Equinox III, No. 2, one of the now-lost treasures of Thelema, which he describes as “the rather ragged bound-up proofs in curious Italian millboard with a brownish-yellow pattern.” The final two pages are a fascinating “Rough memorandum upon the Economics of an Abbey of Thelema.” It starts with 4 general principles, and then goes into some quite specific details: “There is a Self-Denying Ordinance about smokes & drinks. E.G. cigarettes must not be laid down until fully smoked. Dinks are limited to seven daily, and their hours agreed upon. …” Oddly Crowley seems quite preoccupied with ginger, mentioning it twice in the document, including in the ‘Ordinance’ where he observes: “Ginger is at present not rationed.” The letter begins and ends with the Thelemic greetings, and is signed “yours ever, Aleister,” with a phallic ‘A.’ Approx. 500 words in total. FitzGerald collection. A few light creases but otherwise Very Good. (32782) SOLD

Aleister Crowley, An autograph letter, Signed, from Aleister Crowley to ‘Frieda’ [Lady Harris: Frieda Harris]. Jan 28 [1941]. Written on all four sides of two sheets of 8 x 5 inch buff-colored notepaper. Headed simply, “The Gardens,’ [Torquay] Jan. 28.” Although otherwise undated the contents of the letter indicate that it was written on Jan. 28, 1941. At the time of writing Crowley was clearly not in the best of health, and feeling rather sorry for himself. After outlining his health problems he takes Harris to task over some financial misunderstanding, suggesting that the attitude in which she made a payment to him was such that it was “Like a lifebelt smeared with mustard gas!” He berates her for her silence on the subjects of the Tarot cards and studies on the Yi King, and after some racist unpleasantries concerning Michael Juste he declares “There are times when I feel like throwing in my hand. In spite of all that I have suffered in the past, I am still shockingly sensitive. Insanely so, perhaps. But I feel so strongly that the whole future of man depends upon my work: I rejoice to suffer and to endure; but I do want to acquit myself of my oath right manfully. Of course these words are weakness, and they pass. Perdurabo.” He then voices his concerns about books held in storage – and his fears about their loss. The second half of the letter is written a day later and Crowley is clearly in better spirits. He mentions including a letter from Juste, which he wanted returned, and his plans to see Chaplin’s film ‘[The]Great Dictator’, and then discoursed briefly on Baron Corvo: “I dislike ‘pi buggers’, as they are usually called. Piety does do with homosexuality; both compensate the lack of something that makes manhood.’ The letter begins and ends with the Thelemic greetings, and is signed “yours fraternally, 666,” Clearly Harris had made some past impious remark about ‘Love is the law, love under will,’ for in closing Crowley adds “And don’t make dirty smears on your mind by trying to be funny any more.’ Approx. 380 words in total. FitzGerald collection.A few light creases but otherwise Very Good. (32783) SOLD

Letters etc. from Frieda Harris to Aleister Crowley.

Frieda Harris, An autograph letter, Signed, from Lady Harris (Frieda Harris) to Aleister Crowley, July 28 [1946?]. Written on both sides of a sheet of 5 1/4″ x 7″ notepaper. The letter begins and ends with the Thelemic greetings, and is signed simply ‘Frieda.’ Handwritten address, ‘Castle Hotel, Breem S. Wales’ & date at top of page. Approx. 400 words. Harris discusses the proofs of an unspecified publication which she had just received (probably Crowley’s Olla, for which she supplied the dustjacket artwork) and then chats generally – about the poor state of England, government red tape, her stay in Wales etc. FitzGerald collection. VG+ condition. (32797) SOLD

Frieda Harris, An autograph letter, from Lady Harris (Frieda Harris) to Aleister Crowley, Jan. 10 [194-?]. Written on the recto of a sheet of 4 1/2″ x 7″ notepaper, with the ‘Crazy Giraffe’ design used by Harris printed at the head of the page. A short, unsigned note, written to accompany a cheque for twelve pounds, for Crowley to pay his rent.. Harris mentions that part of the money had been contributed by Louis Wilkinson and part by Gerald Yorke. FitzGerald collection. VG+ condition. (32800) SOLD

Frieda Harris, An autograph letter, Signed, from Lady Harris (Frieda Harris) to Aleister Crowley, May 13 [1941]. Written on both sides of a sheet of 5 1/4″ x 7″ notepaper. The letter begins and ends with the Thelemic greetings, and is signed simply ‘Frieda Harris.’ Approx. 350 words. Obviously written in response to one of Crowley’s regular epistles berating her for her perceived inactivity. “Please trust me, I am doing my best, war conditions make everything very hard. I am trying to get the cards done but it will not be possible until the Exhibition has been tried out on the General Public.” Harris was presumably referring to the printing of the actual Tarot pack itself. The process was reasonably advanced, but did not reach fruition during Crowley’s lifetime. FitzGerald collection. Thumb-print size stain in top margin, otherwise VG+ condition. (32801) SOLD

Frieda Harris, Two autograph letters, Signed, from Lady Harris (Frieda Harris) to Aleister Crowley, October 16. [1945?]. Two related letters, each written on both sides of a sheet of 4 1/2″ x 7″ notepaper, with Harris’ ‘Crazy Giraffe’ design and ‘Rolling Stone Orchard, Chipping Campden,’ address printed in blue at the top of each page. Headed ‘Letter 1’ and ‘Letter 2,’ respectively. In the first letter Harris writes of selling her house, dispersing her possessions, her art, and such like, and asks Crowley if ‘the book’ (most likely Olla) is finished yet. Harris obviously received a letter from Crowley before she had posted the first of her letters, and thus she included a second. Clearly Crowley had indicated that he was planning to undertake a retreat and Harris explains why it would not be a good idea to do so in the Campden area, where she had been living. Each letter is approx. 200 words, and both begin and end with the Thelemic greetings, and are signed simply ‘Frieda Harris.’ FitzGerald collection. VG+ Condition. (32802) SOLD

Frieda Harris, An autograph letter, Signed, from Lady Harris (Frieda Harris) to Aleister Crowley, August 3 [1946?]. Written on both sides of a sheet of 5 1/4″ x 7″ notepaper with her ‘dove in a triangle’ letterhead. The letter begins and ends with the Thelemic greetings, and is signed simply ‘Frieda.’ Handwritten address, ‘Castle Hotel, Breem ‘ & date at top of page. Approx. 300 words. Harris discusses the possibility of arranging a lunch meeting with herself, John Symonds, Crowley and ‘his second in command,’ in London. It is interesting to speculate as to just who it was that Harris perceived as Crowley’s ‘2 I.C.’, though given the few available candidates at the time it would most likely have been Kenneth Grant. Of course given Harris’ sense of humour, and her sometimes-tense relationship with Crowley, the reference could have been sarcastic or ironic. She also discusses what she is reading, and a painting she is working on at the time being: ‘The picture is very arduous. My guardian angel very active & led me to an electrical shop where lay a spiral for a bud-speaker to catch the vibrations, a most beautiful & interestingly formed spiral which is what I’ve been looking for. It has now to be twisted into the Golden Proportion twice and then I have hooked the form I was looking for. The point is that the actual form is very hard to draw correctly.” FitzGerald collection. The usual creases from having been folded in an envelope, otherwise VG+ condition. (32804) SOLD

Frieda Harris, An autograph letter, Signed, from Lady Harris (Frieda Harris) to Aleister Crowley, August 13 [1946?]. Written on both sides of a sheet of 5 1/4″ x 7″ notepaper with her ‘dove in a triangle’ letterhead. ‘Aug. 13th, my birthday!’ written at top of page. The letter begins and ends with the Thelemic greetings, and is signed simply ‘Frieda.’ Approx. 400 words. Harris gushes “What a muddle we get in when Rumour rushes in – my dear & most revered. I think you are the most wonderful person for me. I have met in my life. I only complain that you have made my faults so apparent to me that I am unnerved and make every effort in th

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