Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam

Omar KHAYYAM   |   Willy POGANY

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Item#: 126929 price:$850.00

Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam
Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam


(POGÁNY, Willy) KHAYYÁM, Omar. Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam. London: George G. Harrap, circa 1980. Slim octavo, contemporary full red calf, gilt-stamped serpent and chalice to front cover, raised bands, marbled endpapers, all edges gilt. $850.

Later edition of Pogány’s illustrated Rubaiyat, with 16 splendid full-page color plates, handsomely bound by Bayntun.

Omar Khayyám's "brief verses vary in theme… from sophisticated satires on the unreasonableness of human passion to the passionate lyrics on the joys and sorrows of love and wine and on the wisdom of grasping pleasure while we can" (Hornstein, Percy & Brown 377). Hungarian-born Willy Pogány "specialized in gift book embellishment both before and after the First World War" (Harthan, 242). He first illustrated this 12th-century Persian poem in 1909. Fitzgerald's translations (the first published in 1859, the fourth in 1879) "adapted the quatrains into a connected theme, skeptical of divine providence, mocking the transience of human grandeur, and concentrating on the pleasures of the fleeting moment," producing in the process some of "the most frequently quoted lines in English poetry" (Drabble, 716). Printed with calligraphic initial letters, tailpieces and decorative borders in green ink. Greer 21e.

Fine condition, a lovely volume.

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