RUBÁIYÁT OF OMAR KHAYYÁM, THE ASTRONOMER-POET OF PERSIA.

(London and New York: MacMillan and Co., 1899). 209 x 145 mm. (8 1/4 x 5 5/8"). 2 p.l., 112 pp.

ATTRACTIVE DARK BROWN MOROCCO WITH ONLAID DESIGN BY DUDLEY & HODGE (stamp-signed in gilt on front turn-in), covers with four onlaid green morocco grape leaves at center, each connected to the next with strips of brown morocco, the spaces between filled with several blue onlaid dots resembling grapes, each corner with an onlaid grape leaf with three blue dots, raised bands, compartments with an onlaid grape leaf and a blue dot in each corner, gilt lettering, turn-ins with a grape leaf at each corner, outlined in gilt and set on a stippled gilt ground that dissipates as it moves toward the center, MARVELOUS DOUBLURES OF DARK TURQUOISE MOROCCO WITH MANY ELEGANT GILT FLOWERS ON SINUOUS STEMS, the doublures facing a brocade of purple, blue, and gray, top edge gilt, others untrimmed. Not in Potter. Just a hint of wear at top and bottom of upper joint, spine and part of upper cover partly dulled or faded (though not terribly noticeable except for where the grape leaves appear more brown than green), lower doublure with a very thin strip of fading at top edge, endleaves just slightly frayed at fore edge and a couple of negligible thumb smudges internally, otherwise the contents in fine condition, in an appealing binding with gorgeous doublures.

Offered here in a deceptively restrained binding design, this copy of FitzGerald's perennially popular translation of the "Rubáiyát" is a playful reminder to "never judge a book by its cover." Eschewing any gilt decoration (except for lettering on the spine), the simply decorated exterior here gives no hint of the exuberant, skillfully gilt-tooled doublures and then the flamboyant brocade endleaves which greet the reader upon opening the volume. This delightfully unexpected contrast of styles and aesthetics is the work of Dudley & Hodge, an American firm established in 1893 in Boston. A contemporary book on cover design lists their firm alongside other leading American binders of the day, including Otto Zahn, Owen Jones, and Ellen Gates Starr, noting that "Dudley & Hodge has reached a very high point of excellence." (Briggs, "Twentieth Century Cover Designs," p. 21) Although their bindings do not appear on the market very often, the available images and descriptions of their work show designs that are energetic, creative, and the sort of thing that would require great proficiency to execute. First printed anonymously in 1859, FitzGerald's "Rubáiyát" became immensely popular and went through a great many editions. The present work includes both the first and fifth editions, as well as several notes and tables comparing the differences between the first four editions. Like the verses themselves, the binding here--particular the interior--is quite sensual, lending an appropriate element to the overall experience.
(ST17640-292)

Keywords: Orientalia

Add to Cart Price: $3,250.00

PJP Catalog: NY22BF.073

RUBÁIYÁT OF OMAR KHAYYÁM, THE ASTRONOMER-POET OF PERSIA. BINDINGS - DUDLEY, HODGE.
RUBÁIYÁT OF OMAR KHAYYÁM, THE ASTRONOMER-POET OF PERSIA.
RUBÁIYÁT OF OMAR KHAYYÁM, THE ASTRONOMER-POET OF PERSIA.