Another glorious treasure trove on offer in the latest Catalogue from Weiser Antiquarian…
Weiser Antiquarian is pleased to announce the release of the one hundred-and-first of our on-line catalogues, this being another of our specialised Aleister Crowley lists. This catalogue starts with two new items, the first being signed copies of Frater Shiva’s, City of the Sun an “examination of the nature of the Holy Guardian Angel and the methods used to invoke its ‘Knowledge and Conversation’.” The second is an Edition Deluxe of Martin P. Starr’s, The Unknown God: W. T. Smith and the Thelemites, limited to 13 copies only, each in a navy-blue morocco leather binding with custom-made felt-lined slip case, signed by the author and with an original booklet, “The Creed of the Thelemites from the Gnostic Catholic Mass” published by Wilfred T. Smith in 1949, inserted in a cloth pocket on the rear pastedown. The binding was specially commissioned from a craft bookbinder, and is without doubt one of the most handsome to grace an occult publication in recent years.
The next section comprises books by Crowley. Amongst the rarities are: a first edition of Magick In Theory and Practice , four sections bound in one volume, with the suppressed colour plate, from the library of Ray Burlingame (1893-1965) a IX degree member of the Agape Lodge of the O.T.O. There are also first editions of The Argonauts (1904), The Gospel According to St. Bernard Shaw (1953), The Heart of the Master (1938) and The Winged Beetle (1910), as well as some particularly unusual booklets, notably The Rites of Eleusis , The Scientific Solution to the Problem of Government , and The Banned Lecture (1930). These are followed by several autograph letters signed, from Crowley to Soror Fiat Yod [Anne Macky] the woman who commissioned from him the series of teachings which would form the basis of his posthumously published book Magick Without Tears. Both of the letters are on Crowley’s letterhead, and importantly each comes with its original envelope, sealed in wax with the cartouche of Ankh-f-n-khonsu from Crowley’s personal seal ring impressed into it. In the past some have unkindly suggested that we would even sell Crowley’s laundry list. While not quite that extreme the next two items are getting close: one is an original pharmacist’s invoice for the supply of drugs and syringes to Aleister Crowley, and the other an order form for a Smythson’s “Royal Court” Diary, completed by Crowley with his [signed] name and address, and – a short shopping list on the back!
The fifth section of the catalogue comprises “books relating to Aleister Crowley.” Amongst the more unusual items are The Cambridge University Calendar for the Year 1897 – 1898, which is interesting in the details of Crowley’s contemporaries that it gives, a lovely example of Lady Frieda Harris’ Bump! Into Heaven (1956) as well as a nice copy of Kenneth Grant’s Beyond the Mauve Zone (1999) and an Edition Deluxe of Kenneth Grant’s The Ninth Arch (2002), limited to 97 copies signed by Kenneth and Steffi Grant. Unusual bibliographical items include the first edition of Keith Hogg’s catalogue of the Crowley collection of Major-General J.F.C. Fuller, Bibliotheca Crowleyana (1966), a special Crowley catalogue by the great bookseller George Frederick Sims, Magick. Books by the Master Therion (circa 1951?), and an original four page flyer advertising Crowley books published by the Mandrake Press Ltd: Works by Aleister Crowley (1930). From the bibliographically sublime, to the somewhat ridiculous, we move to the penultimate section of the catalogue, which comprises a selection of “Gentleman’s Magazines” (i.e. soft-core porn) from the 1960s – 1990s, each of which has an article relating to Crowley in it!
The final section of the catalogue comprises a group of 101 novels and collections of short stories, all of which bear some relation to Aleister Crowley: either by direct reference to him, or – in many cases – by the inclusion of a character who is (thought to be) based upon him. The extent of the references varies greatly, some are quite significant, others tenuous in the extreme. The vast majority of these books were assembled by our old friend, Nicholas Bishop-Culpeper, who sadly passed from us early last year, and in many of cases Nick was actually the first in Crowleyan circles to identify the book as being of some relevance to the Beast.