SANGORSKI and SUTCLIFFE, bindery. OMAR KHAYYAM. Rubaiyat. Translation by Edward Fitzgerald. London: Quaritch, 1868.
8o (205 x 167 mm). A JEWELLED BINDING SET WITH 34 JEWELS INCLUDING 21 TOPAZES, 5 PEARLS, 3 AMETHYSTS, 3 MOONSTONES, A SMALL SAPPHIRE, AND A SMALL RUBY using "408 separate pieces of inlay" by Sangorski and Sutcliffe, red morocco, upper cover with central oval sunken panel of green morocco and a Peacock with outspread tail, the body inlaid in blue, white and brown morocco, the tail tooled in gold and morocco, peacock feathers tooled in gilt and morocco and set with a circle of 21 topazes, the Peacock eye set with a small sapphire and the comb set with 5 pearls surrounded by a wide gilt panel containing a climbing vine design with branches, leaves and bunches of grapes executed in onlaid morocco of two shades of green and purple morocco on a gilt background with dense stipple tooling, framed by a gilt double fillet border enclosing a gilt lettered quotation from the Rubaiyat on blue morocco onlay; the lower cover with a central circular sunken panel with a large gilt chalice entwined by a serpent made up of gilt and snakeskin on a background of red morocco with dense stipple tooling, and encircled by 3 Amethysts and 3 Moonstones, the serpents eye set with a small Ruby, surrounded by a panel of onlaid Tudor roses of two shades of ivory morocco, with gilt stem and green morocco leaf decoration on a densely gilt dotted ground, each corner set with a butterfly made of mother-of-pearl inlays, surrounded by a gilt double fillet border enclosing a gilt lettered quotation from the Rubaiyat on blue morocco onlay; spine in six compartments, gilt lettered in second, rest decorated with alternate design of Tudor Roses and climbing vine design; green and red morocco doublures, decorated with gilt dots, turn-ins of red morocco decorated with stylized Peakock feathers in gilt, with green morocco onlays, on a background of gilt stipple tooling, and green morocco endleaves, with a gilt triple fillet; black morocco clamshell box. Provenance: C.F.J. Beausire (bookplate).
Second edition. The work is accompanied by a letter on Sangorski and Sutcliffe letterhead and by a note form Chas. J. Sawyer, dated November 1921, with a detailed description of the binding which was apparently tooled by Bill Finch; Mr. Burns was responsible for forwarding the binding. According to the letter, the whole design symbolizes Life and Death.