With Spectacular Doublures Inspired by Islamic Designs

RUBÁIYÁT OF OMAR KHAYYAM.

(London: David Nutt, 1889). 173 x 109 mm. (6 3/4 x 4 1/4"). lxii, [2], CLVI pp., [1] leaf.Translated by Justin Huntly McCarthy. ONE OF 550 COPIES.

VERY ELEGANT HONEY-BROWN MOROCCO, GILT, BY RUBAN (stamp-signed in gilt and dated 1895 on front doublure), raised bands, spine with gilt ruled compartments and gilt lettering, EXUBERANT TAN MOROCCO DOUBLURES IN A COFFERED DESIGN of interlacing inlaid morocco Islamic stars (brown on front doublure, green on rear), each filled with a gilt design and central honey-brown star inlay, framed with a thin inlaid brown or green morocco frame and gilt rules with inlaid stars at each corner, each facing a page covered with gilt foil and followed by marbled flyleaves, morocco hinges, all edges gilt. Housed in a marbled slipcase with morocco lip. Potter 348. Spine uniformly a slightly darker brown than the boards, otherwise in virtually perfect condition.

This charming prose edition of the Rubáiyát is offered here in a lovely binding that holds a delightful surprise inside. The quiet elegance of the exterior, demonstrating restraint and appealing to traditional tastes, in no way prepares the viewer for the explosion of the doublures, inspired by Islamic designs, and the gleaming gold endleaves concealed within. This contrast of styles is an enchanting feature, perfectly suited for a work of Persian poetry translated by an English gentleman. The co-mingling of different aesthetics and skills is also a testament to the versatility and talents of our binder, Pétrus Ruban (1851-1929). Praised by the bibliophile Octave Uzanne for taking inspiration from everything around him--flowers, birds, architecture--and for his facility with colors, Ruban became quite a fashionable binder, and mostly worked for the great collectors of the day, among them Beraldi, Baudin, Granjon de l'Espinay, and Romagnol. Flety notes that "with a fertile imagination, he practices all genres [of binding] with equal felicity"--a talent that is very much on display here. Ruban won silver medals at the Palace of Industry and at the Universal Exposition in 1889, with judges at the latter praising his careful study of both historic master binders and modern artists, noting that Ruban would "soon achieve the rank he so rightly seeks." The translator of the present work, Justin Huntly McCarthy (1859-1936) was an Irish member of Parliament, historian, and author. In addition to the 466 quatrains he renders into prose here, McCarthy also includes a rather lengthy but useful introduction that covers some of the publication history of the Rubáiyát, as well as his own reasons for undertaking the work.
(ST17640-284)

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PJP Catalog: NY22BF.075

RUBÁIYÁT OF OMAR KHAYYAM. BINDINGS - RUBAN.
RUBÁIYÁT OF OMAR KHAYYAM.
RUBÁIYÁT OF OMAR KHAYYAM.
RUBÁIYÁT OF OMAR KHAYYAM.

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