"ONE THING IS CERTAIN, THAT LIFE FLIES… THE FLOWER THAT ONCE HAS BLOWN FOR EVER DIES"
(SULLIVAN, Edmund J., illustrator) FITZGERALD, Edward. Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam. New York: E.P. Dutton, (1913). Quarto, original red cloth gilt, top edge gilt, uncut. $1200.
First American edition with Sullivan's striking illustrations, with color frontispiece portrait and 75 black-and-white illustrations—one for each quatrain—including the skeleton and roses image later used by the Grateful Dead.
Sullivan was "one of the foremost illustrators of his time… he was a superb figure draughtsman, especially in chalks, and had a strong and inventive imagination" (Houfe, 218-219). His image for the 26th quatrain was first used by artists Alton Kelley and Stanley Mouse on a 1966 poster advertising a Dead concert at the Avalon Ballroom, with Kelley and Mouse adding color and lettering; it later appeared on the cover of the 1971 album Grateful Dead, which is sometimes referred to as Skull and Roses after Sullivan's iconic image. Published the same year in London by Methuen, no priority established. Early gift inscription.
Front pastedown and preliminary leaves with expert cleaning to top edges, text block and inner hinges with expert repairs, text and illustrations fine; cloth fresh, gilt bright.