Weiser Antiquarian Books Catalogue 128: Aleister Crowley

Yet more gems sparkling brightly in the latest catalogue from Weiser Antiquarian…

The catalogue comprises a typically mixed selection, from rare books and ephemera, to relatively recent reprints of material by or relating to Aleister Crowley. Amongst the more unusual items are an autograph letter, signed, from Crowley to his physician, Dr. Charnock Smith, sent from his rooms in Netherwood, in 1945, in which Crowley laments the loss of a delivery of pharmaceutical heroin, and requests new supplies, as well as sleeping pills. Another extraordinary ephemeral item is an astrological chart prepared by Aleister Crowley for the Cecil Court Bookseller Harold Mortlake which is drawn on the verso of a proof pull of Crowley’s Liber Oz, whilst an autograph letter signed, from Crowley’s rather notorious friend, Tom Driberg to the “artist executant of” the “Thoth” tarot Frieda Lady Harris, (1937) reminds us how intertwined his circle of friends often was. Later ephemeral items include a nicely-produced announcement, printed by W. T. Smith, & Helen Parsons Smith: Notice. The Church of Thelema is Now Established (1949), while a crudely produced flyer “Into Aleister Crowley?! Why not visit his Magical Order the O.T.O. [etc. ]” (circa 1979), and the Crowleymas 1980 e.v. Souvenir Songbook recall the early days of the then-Caliphate O.T.O. Less ephemeral items include an early bound Typescript of Liber Aleph: The Book of Wisdom or Folly, prepared for one of Crowley’s British followers (ca. 1940), a superb copy of the first edition of Moonchild, in the original Beresford Egan dust jacket, and a Subscriber’s Edition of Magick In Theory and Practice (ca. 1930) which has, tipped in on the front free end paper, a telegram to Crowley on which he has written what is certainly the largest example of Crowley’s signature that we have ever seen (some letters are 1 1/2 inches high and the signature is 6 inches across).

Aside from a number of works from Crowley’s lifetime there are also some most unusual posthumous publications. These include a deluxe copy of the Karl Germer and Gerald Yorke edition of 777 Revised (1955) bound in full crimson vellum and limited to 12 numbered copies; one of only eleven copies of the first issue of the Martin P. Starr edition of The Scented Garden of Abdullah the Satirist of Shiraz (1991) bound in full white vellum; a copy of Roll Away The Stone: An Introduction to Aleister Crowley’s Essays on the Psychology of Hashish (1968) inscribed by the editor Israel Regardie, and the leather deluxe edition of Living Thelema by David Shoemaker, limited to 31 numbered copies, this copy signed by the author. As always there are too many other unusual items to summarise in a short space like this, but the catalogue also contains a number of interesting periodicals, including Volume I, Numbers I – 8 of In The Continuum by Phyllis Seckler, Grady L. McMurtry et al, and a complete run of 7 issues (all published) of Agapé. The Occult Review.


As usual we have a variety of other catalogues in preparation including more Spiritualism lists and other catalogues on Alchemy and Hermetica, Mythology, Theosophy, Grimoires, Witchcraft, and other of our specialties, with a few surprises along the way. Of course we will also continue to regularly issue our Aleister Crowley and “Miscellany” catalogues.

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