RUBAIYAT OF OMAR KHAYYAM. REPRODUCED FROM A MANUSCRIPT WRITTEN AND ILLUMINATED BY F. SANGORSKI & G. SUTCLIFFE.

(London: Siegle, Hill and Company, [1910]). 343 x 258 mm. (13 1/2 x 10"). 2 p.l., 6 pp., [19] leaves, [1], 16, [1] pp., [11] leaves. Translated by Edward FitzGerald. With an introduction by A. C. Benson. No. 154 OF 550 COPIES printed on handmade paper and SIGNED BY SANGORSKI AND SUTCLIFFE on the limitations page.

Original vellum boards featuring a peacock within an elaborate gilt frame by Sangorski & Sutcliffe (with "Rd. No. 562943" in small letters at foot, indicating the firm's registered design), smooth spine with gilt decoration and maroon morocco label, top edge gilt, others untrimmed. In a later woodgrain slipcase. Numerous decorative initials designed by Alberto Sangorski printed in gold and colors, and 12 COLOR PLATES (including a particularly elaborate title and first page), with illustrations designed by E. Geddes. Printed in red and black. Potter 81; Paas 4120. ◆Binding with half a dozen small yellow stains, spine lightly soiled, label with a couple small scratches, plates with light speckled gray strip at leaf edges (from printing process?), otherwise quite pleasing--very fresh internally, printed on high quality paper, and in a solid, scarcely worn binding without any of the usual splaying that vellum invites.

This is limited edition facsimile of an original manuscript illuminated and written out by Alberto Sangorski and illustrated by Ewan Geddes, based on FitzGerald's enduringly popular translation of Omar Khayyam. It is a very attractive and well-preserved facsimile of the fine work produced by Sangorski & Sutcliffe when the firm was at the top of their game. After studying under, and then working for, Douglas Cockerell, Francis Sangorski and George Sutcliffe founded their own bindery in 1901 and continued in a successful partnership until 1912. During that year, the firm suffered three major blows: their famously splendid jewelled binding, dubbed the "Great Omar," was lost on the Titanic; a few weeks after this accident, Francis himself drowned; and Francis' brother, Alberto, who had been a central figure in producing the firm's vellum illuminated manuscripts, went over to Riviere. Despite these losses, the firm grew and prospered, employing a staff of 80 by the mid-1920s and becoming perhaps the most successful English bindery of the 20th century. Though he was best known for his watercolor scenes of rural and winter landscapes, Scottish artist Ewan Geddes (1866-1935) abandons his usual restrained palette in this collaboration with Sangorski & Sutcliffe, employing instead a colorful array of paints that capture the warmth and sensuous lyricism of the text.
(ST17640-183)

Price: $2,500.00