A postcard with a reproduction of a Portrait of Crowley by Augustus John, with a short autograph note from John Symonds to Gerald Yorke on the verso.
UK: ( ca.1946 & 1952? ). A 5 1/4" x 3 1/4" postcard with a black and white reproduction of the 1945 portrait of Crowley by Augustus John on the recto, with the verso left blank for stamps and text. Crowley evidently had a small number of these cards produced, which he gave out to friends and well-wishers, probably not long before his death. Crowley's biographer, John Symonds, evidently acquired a few of these, and has used this example to write a short note to Gerald Yorke at his Montagu Square address. The note reads "Congratulations! I enjoyed every moment of it. John S." The postcard is undated, and the final numeral in the year of the postmark is illegible, leaving only "195_." However the stamps have the head of King George the VI, and the franking bears the text "Long Live the Queen" which would suggest it was probably sent not long after the coronation of Elizabeth II in February 1952. Gerald Yorke worked closely with Symonds on "The Great Beast" (in an attempt to keep out the most egregious errors) and also supplied the bibliography of Crowley at the end of the work, but that was first published in 1951 so the message probably refers to some other, later, event. The artist, Augustus John, was a friendly acquaintance of Crowley's for over thirty years and drew a number of portraits of the Beast, including one that was published in the "The Equinox, Vol. I, No. VII" (1911) and this image, which was reproduced in his final book, "Olla" (1946). The postcard has two penny stamps on the verso, and has been franked four times! An interesting ephemeral item, linking three men who were important in Crowley's life. Lightly browned and with a couple of minute creases. Still VG+ condition. Item #39637