Friday, October 15, 2010

A Jug of Wine and Thou

This time it's not about the content, it's all about the presentation.  Bound by Sangorski and Sutcliffe, this bookbinding masterpiece is one of a number the pair produced in the early-twentieth century.  Like many similar examples, Rauner's copy was designed for the Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyám. However, as the cliché states, you can't judge a book by its cover, and the sumptuous exterior stands in contrast to the fairly standard text block, which is from the 3rd edition (London: Bernard Quaritch, 1872). 

The most famous of these Rubáiyát bindings was lost on the Titanic and has been dubbed the "Great Omar."  Though not nearly as complex a binding as the "Great Omar" which featured several thousand individual jewels and leather onlays, our copy does include precious and semi-precious materials and a similar peacock motif on the front cover.  The serpent twined around the gold-leaf chalice on the back cover is made from real snake skin, naturally.

Ask for Bindings 210 to see this favorite.

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