Hand bookbindings


Two editions of the Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyam from a presentation of special bindings at the Princeton University Library. The peacock design contains real jewels. In addition to these displays of lavish blocking there are some remarkable examples of edge decoration, something one rarely sees today even on expensive limited editions. Thanks again to Thom for the tip!


Elsewhere on { feuilleton }
The book covers archive

Previously on { feuilleton }
Ronald Balfour’s Rubáiyát

3 thoughts on “Hand bookbindings”

  1. Beautiful bindings, John. I don’t know if you’re aware of the most magnificent binding of the Rubaiyat, or probably any book for that matter, “The Great Omar”, created by Sagorski & Sutcliffe of London, but lost when The Titanic sank. A recreation by the company was destroyed in the London Blitz. Bookbinder Stanley Bray created the 3rd “Great Omar”, an exact copy of the original in the 1980s. It is now held in The British Library – on restricted access unfortunately. The sumptuous binding is inlaid and tooled in gold and is set with around 1,000 gemstones. I was lucky enough to see it in January this year at the BL’s exhibition to mark the 150th anniversary of publication of Edward Fitzgerald’s Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam. It was truly breathtaking. There’s good info and some pictures at http://www.bl.uk/catalogues/bookbinding and at http://www.bookbinding.co.uk/history/htm

  2. Jeremiah: Yes, I saw that Titanic story mentioned on one of the Princeton pages and was wondering what the book was like. Your links there are throwing up errors but that gives me an excuse to search the BL site a bit more. Thanks!

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