London: Wieland, ND (1912 & 1913). First Editions. Hardcovers. 2 Volumes. Both small square octavos (Approx. 5 3/8 inches x 5 3/8 inches). Vol. I: x + 94pp (+2pp. adverts), original printed cloth over flexible card boards, plain black cloth backstrip (no spine-label issued on this volume); 2 photographic illustrations. Vol II: viii + 186pp, original printed paper over flexible card boards, black cloth spines with paper title-label on spine, 10 full page plates & illustrations, errata slip tipped in facing title page. Volume I is the first issue of the First Edition, with the publisher's address given as "3, Great James Street, / Bedford Row, / London, W.C." however in this case it has a printed change of address label tipped-in "Please note new address: / 33 Avenue Studios / South Kensington, S.W." Volume II is the first (and only) issue of the First Edition. The first printing of the first issue of each volume comprised only 500 copies.
The first two volumes - all issued thus - complete in themselves, on mysticism and magick respectively, of the projected four volumes of Crowley's magnum opus, "Book 4". The third volume (on "The Book of the Law") did not appear as such during Crowley's lifetime, whilst the fourth came out in different format under the title "Magick in Theory and Practice" in 1930. These two volumes are in their original distinctive "flashing bindings" and are an unusual example of the book as talismanic object, with the design by Crowley also reflecting the (itself symbolic) number 4: a theme carried through from the square shape; 4 equal sides; to the original prices, 4 groats and 4 tanners respectively, and the intended 4 volumes of the series.
From the collection of Clive Harper with his discreet book-label neatly tipped in at the rear. Harper is well- known as the bibliographer of Austin Osman Spare, for updating the Aleister Crowley bibliography in the 2011 Teitan Press collection of Gerald Yorke's writings, and as someone who has lent his expertise to numerous other publications.
The two volumes are housed together in a Fine custom-made protective portfolio, covered in black buckram book-cloth, lined with archival paper, and with printed paper spine label and panels reflecting the original design.
Condition: Vol. I: covers a little darkened, previous owners' names on half-title page, clearly read, light general wear. Vol. II: Paper covered boards chipped at corners, rubbed at edges and lightly creased. Paper spine label darkened and a little chipped but over 90% intact, page edges darkened and a little spotted. Small tear, without loss, to upper margin of pp. 5-6, now closed with acid free tissue tape. Three small, sensible, inked annotations and a couple of corrections, and a neat one line pencil annotation detailing a review of the work published in "The Occult Review." Both volumes clearly used, but still a better-than-VG set of a rare issue - the true first editions but with the cancel title leaf indicating that Vol. I was a later release. (neither volume issued with dust jacket). Item #66015