Crowley first editions
I was wondering if some of you Crowley collectors could give me some info.
I have been thinking of buying a first edition and was wondering what is normally the least expensive book? and what would a fair price be? After a little (very little so far)searching it looks like it might be a single issue of Vol 1 of the Equinox.
This is not a "book wanted" ad, I just would like some info for the next time I have some cash burning a hole in my pocket.
93, Frater C.U.G.
The really cheapest 1st edition to find is "Stratagem and other stories" which normally is sold for around 100 bucks. It is a very nice book but (if you consider this a "but") it is just 3 short stories. Then probably come Equinox 1,1 and some not too rare early poetry (like Jephthah) which sell for around 300 bucks. Pretty affordable seems also "Olla", his last book, a book of poetry. And of course there are some broadsheets which are not too pricey (not priceworthy). You probably already checked out Abebooks, didn't you? Unfortunately most of the 1st editions are ridiculously expensive but there are always steals on ebay possible. I once bought a complete set of the 1st volume of the Equinox plus the Blue Equinox (signed by Frater Achad) in outstanding condition (see the galleries) for 800 Euro! That was my greatest day on ebay!
So good luck!
Thank you very much. Now I have something to go on. And no I didn't check Abebooks... Cool site!
Not sure about eBay.. the last time I saw something cheap you bid on it and it was no longer cheap 😉
Oh BTW Do you know anything about the seller dumpster diving "something" in Arizona? I wonder what the story is... they seem to have some interesting typewritten manuscripts that are sometimes Crowley related. Odd for someone who also sells a bunch of random crap.
you can always count on lutz for a wealth of info on crowleyana, and i agree with his post. (800 euro for the set...AND the blue equinox....AND signed by achad!!!!! i'm off to e-Bay!) there are anumber of sellers in the NM area selling remarkable items. when these items first started appearing on e-Bay, i contacted some of the sellers with a few questions. this is probably the best response that i received (seller id kept private).
"HI, THANK YOU FOR YOUR INQUIRY..I ATTENDED AN ESTATE SALE OF A MAN WHO CLAIMED TO BE THE LAST MAJAGURU, AND ALSO LAST LIVING MEMBER OF UNIVERSAL BROTHERHOOD..THIS INFORMATION WAS SENT BY SOMEONE THAT BOUGHT BOOKS FROM THIS INDIVIDUAL IN THE 80'S. I BOUGHT MOST OF THE PAPERS AND A LOT OF BOOKS..NOT KNOWING OF THEIR INTEREST TO SO MANY OTHERS.....I HAD NO INTEREST IN KEEPING OR COLLECTING THEM SO STARTED LISTING FIRST THE BOOKS THEN JUST STARTED LISTING THE PAPERS...I HAVE ABSOLUTELY NO WAY OF AUTHENTICATING ANY OF THIS COLLECTION.....AND YOU HAVE NO IDEA HOW MUCH THERE IS....BOXES AND BOXES....I WAS FIRST CONTACTED BY A FEW WHO SAID THEY WERE HISTORIANS AND WOULD LIKE TO HAVE THE COLLECTION..OF COURSE IT HAD NO COMMERCIAL VALUE ACCORDING TO THEM..WELL I FOUND THAT NOT TO BE TRUE..SO I HAVE BEEN LISTING IT JUST BY TOPIC, OR LETTER AND KEEP MY FINGERS CROSSED..SO FAR THE INTEREST HAS BEEN MIND BOGGLING..I HOPE I HAVE ANSWERED YOUR QUESTIONS."
she has amazin' items alright.....
hope that helps.
Thanks Lillittan for your info. I have been spending a large amount of money on these such items from the NM sellers and your reply from the seller made me feel it was all worth it!!
One word of warning on starting down the slippery slope of Crowley firsts. I have around 100 firsts if you are counting variations and roughly 10 signed pieces. Crack is much cheaper! I have traveled all over the US and Canada on buying trips and it never ends. You here of Meth addicts talking about the little bug running around their skulls? It is the same!
And it is a gateway collectable. Soon you will have to have Spare. Then Achad....Chumbley....I'm getting the sweats just typing this! And once you think you kicked the habbit...you will sell something....then it will be no time you will be buying it back again....at twice the cost!!!
Lutz can tell you power of this uncontroled substance. He I presumptiously will say is a "Thelemic Addict"...... If I am wrong Lutz please accept my apology in advance, but the symptoms are there!
Paul also knows of my battle with this never ending hunger.....:)
But on a serious note, Crowley collecting from a bibliophile standpoint is one of the most interesting paths you start down. I have well over a thousand pieces of Crowleyana and have dealt with most of the good and been burned by some of the bad(the bad are very few luckily) in the field.
The Stratagem was my first and my second was Moonchild. Both you can find reasonable with some patience. My last was the Book of Thoth #22. Happy hunting!
Thanks, you know for some reason I find that story a bit heartwarming, She buys a bunch of "junk" at a estate sale and finds out there is a bunch of people willing to spend hundreds on a few pages of typewritten paper. It would make a good episode on antiques roadshow, or cash in the attic. type shows.
I'm safe for now.. I just spent way too much money on a guitar, I won't be buying anything big for some time now 😉
Chiswick Demon is absolutely right, it's an addiction. And it obviously never ends because there is so much AC wrote. What's better with that sickness than with most other drugs: If somebody calls you an addict, you can always tell him: "It's just an investment business!" If I see what people had to pay for AC books and (then still available) manuscripts at auctions in the 70ies to 90ies I simply despair. Less than a hundred Pounds for stuff that just 20 years later would bring thousands and ten-thousands. Be prepared to sell your guitar!
BTW, I have a friend who's in a similar business: addicted to old, 1st edition guitars...
Perhaps this is an opportune time to remind people of the Fine Madness Society ......... "Founded for the provision of relief to those unfortunate individuals with an incurable attraction to the first editions of Aleister Crowley".
Some people consider the FMS an Illuminati front organisation, whilst others think it no more than a tongue in cheek biblio-joke. Personally I tend to the later view.
Thank you for the reminder.
I have always assumed that the eldritch Society to which you refer was either a feature of myth and legend, or else a "front" to an organisation even darker and more sinister...
In the words of that most erudite of observers and commentatotrs, H P Lovecraft: "We live on a placid island of ignorance in the midst of black seas of infinity, and it was not meant that we should voyage far. The sciences, each straining in its own direction, have hitherto harmed us little; but some day the piecing together of dissociated knowledge will open up such terrifying vistas of reality, and of our frightful position therein, that we shall either go mad from the revelation or flee from the light into the peace and safety of a new dark age."
Owner and Editor
. . . and early Lovecraft firsts fetch even more than Crowley's!
I was very fortunate to have purchased a rare book (Gerald Massey's The Natural Genesis) which was once owned by A. Crowley. It has Crowley's magical signature along with the Masonic grades, many notes and annotations, as well as a Kenneth Grant. There's a signature that says Dionysus but am not sure if it was written by K. Grant as I am not aware of him calling himself that name. Anyway, I purchased the book for about $800.00 15 years ago from a private estate sale --I am not sure what it is worth today.
Welcome to LAShTAL.COM, espiritu...
That sounds especially interesting: I'm sure a great many visitors would appreciate a flavour of Crowley's annotations. Well, I know I would!
Massey's influence on Thelema -- and especially Grant's Typhonian mythos -- is seriously overlooked, in my opinion. His Book of Beginnings is perhaps his most interesting work; his poetry's not bad, either!
Owner and Editor
IT can be seen in the gallery. Enjoy!