The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam (1946)
Sandglass Number Unknown
Artwork: Illustrations by Arthur Szyk
Translated by Edward Fitzgerald
Heritage Press Exclusive, originally printed in 1940
Click images for a larger view.
Front Binding – In 1940 the Heritage Press put out a lovely exclusive – The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam, utilizing the talents of Arthur Szyk to illustrate the volume. This edition had Szyk’s work mounted directly to the pages, which sounds lovely. This is the later 1946 edition, which merely reprints the art onto the page. Still, this is a lovely book. The book was designed by Ernest Inghan at Fanfare Press in London, England, and looks very classy with Szyk’s linework printed in blue on the off-white boards. An eye-catcher, this one.
Title Page –Szyk drew his work in color and gold, which Sun Engraving of London engraved. Apparently they did the same in the 1940 original. The text is Monotype Sachsenwald with Albertus Capitals, set by Mr. Ingham. Szyk is stunning as par the course – he did The Canterbury Tales (1946), The Book of Job, The Book of Ruth, The Story of Joseph and his Brothers (in the 1948 Evergreen Tales), The and The Arabian Nights Entertainments for the LEC, along with this and Ink and Blood (a very rare collection of his own work) for the Heritage Press. The translation is the wildly popular Edward Fitzgerald one that seemingly was everywhere in this era – I’ve seen a Random House edition that was rather nice using the same Fitzgerald translation, for example.
Page 2 – Stunning stuff.
Personal Notes – One of my more recent acquisitions, received on my last day of volunteering at my current employment. It did come with a gold slipcase, but it was very ratty and split nearly in two – I didn’t really think it was necessary to keep it in such poor condition. Glad to have a Szyk book at last!
I’m lacking some crucial stuff on this one – a Sandglass and any info within (and its number), comparisons to the 1940 printing, and other insights would be ideal. Please let me know through the comments here or at my thread about this blog at the George Macy Devotees @ LibraryThing! Thanks!