“SHOT WITH A THOUSAND HUES”
HUMPHRIES, Sidney. Oriental Carpets, Runners and Rugs and Some Jacquard Reproductions. London: Adam and Charles Black, 1910. Thick quarto, original cream cloth gilt, gilt-decorated endpapers, top edge gilt, original violet dust jacket. $750.
First edition of a comprehensive survey of the oriental carpet and its artistry by noted bibliophile Sydney Humphries, illustrated with 24 rich photographic color plates and 12 additional full-page illustrations.
A respected bibliophile and art collector, Sydney Humphries put his considerable knowledge of history, literature and art to eloquent use in this wide-ranging appreciation of oriental carpets. He incorporates classical references, from the Golden Fleece to Homer's Iliad, notes the importance of Persian and oriental carpets to the empire of Alexander the Great, traces their influence through the poetry of Byron and the romance of the Taj Mahal, and compares the creative authority of Shah Abbas the Great to that of Shakespeare and Stradivari. In addition an informative chapter is devoted to Joseph Marie Jacquard, with a fascinating section that compares methods of Jacquard weaving to those of book printing (a subject familiar to Humphries, himself a publisher and a collector of rare books). Throughout, Humphries also explores the production of oriental carpets, methods of dyeing, weaving and knotting, and the unique history of tapestries, prayer rugs, and runners. With bibliography, index and 36 illustrations, including 24 color photographic plates. Bookseller stamp.
Very lightest foxing, not affecting plates; gilt bright with only slight soiling to original cloth of near-fine book; closed tears to fold of front panel, chipping with loss to one letter on spine head of very good, scarce dust jacket.