The Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyám, Illustrated & Hand-Illuminated by Valenti Angelo, Limited Editions Club (1935); Also, The Folio Society Limited Edition from 2009 with Illustrations by Niroot Puttapipat

{Ed. Note: 07/13/2014, Thanks to a Books and Vines reader, I have added some pictures of the also very nice Limited Edition of the The Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyám from The Folio Society with wonderful illustrations by Niroot Puttapipat. See at the bottom of this article, after the pictures of the Limited Editions Club edition}.

After Books and Vines contributor Dlphcorcl’s recent articles highlighting some of the greatest fine press editions of The Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyám, I thought it a perfect time for a quick look at the 1935 hand-illuminated edition from The Limited Editions Club (LEC). The LEC edition, while not as extravagant, beautiful or expensive as those highlighted previously, is a wonderful little publication in itself. The full yellow morocco, blind and gold-stamped cover, the Japanese Kozo paper and, of course, the bevy of illustrations, decorations and hand-illumination (gold and silver) from Valenti Angelo make this edition very special, and well worthy of a place on the bookshelves of any fine press collector. It is worth noting that for this edition, text was selected from all five editions of Edward Fitzgerald‘s translation to create a ‘best of’ compilation. In that sense, its approach is similar to that of the Cecile E. Mactaggart edition previously reviewed.

This edition almost was never created, according to George Macy:

When Valenti Angelo first suggested to me that this Club should publish a new edition of The Rubáiyát, I threw up my hands in horror, for it seemed to me that nobody wanted another edition of The Rubáiyát, there are so many editions available. I had so often made the statement that this Club is engaged in making fine editions of books which  are not readily available in fine editions, I could not have expected  that the Angelo edition of The Rubáiyát would prove one of our greatest successes; yet it did. I now feel that each new generation of book collectors wants a new edition of The Rubáiyát; that we could issue a new edition of this book each decade without irritating anybody.

Thankfully Macy proceeded, and I think he is correct in that there seems to be an insatiable appetite for nicely done fine press editions of The Rubáiyát. I wonder who will be brave enough to do the next one?

The LEC The Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyám, in near fine or better condition, usually runs $100-200. It can be difficult to find in such condition, especially with a Chemise in similar condition. Not a bad deal considering the hand-illumination and overall quality of the edition. Like the previously reviewed LEC Vathek, this large in feature edition is small in size, running at 4 1/8″ x 6 1/8″.

About the Edition (Limited Editions Club)

  • Text selected from the five editions of Edward Fitzgerald’s translation
  • Designed, illustrated and hand-illuminated by Valenti Angelo
  • Printed by the Printing Office of the Limited Editions Club
  • Set in Monotype Centaur
  • Japanese Kozo paper
  • Bound by Russell-Rutter Company in full yellow morocco, blind and gold-stamped
  • 80 Double-fold pages, 4 1/8″ x 6 1/8″
  • Limited to 1500 copies, signed by Valenti Angelo

Pictures of the Edition

(All pictures on Books and Vines are exclusively provided to highlight and visualize the work being reviewed.  A side benefit, hopefully, is encouraging healthy sales of fine press books for the publishers and fine retailers that specialize in these types of books (of which Books and Vines has no stake or financial interest). Please note that works photographed are copyrighted by the publisher, author and/or illustrator as indicated in the articles. Permission to use contents from these works for anything outside of fair use purposes must come directly from the copyright owner and no permission is granted or implied to use photo’s found on Books and Vines for any purpose that would infringe on the rights of the copyright owner.)

The Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyám, Limited Editions Club, Chemise
The Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyám, Limited Editions Club, Chemise
The Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyám, Limited Editions Club, Spine and Covers
The Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyám, Limited Editions Club, Spine and Covers
The Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyám, Limited Editions Club, Macro of Spine
The Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyám, Limited Editions Club, Macro of Spine
The Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyám, Limited Editions Club, Cover
The Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyám, Limited Editions Club, Cover
The Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyám, Limited Editions Club, Macro of Cover
The Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyám, Limited Editions Club, Macro of Cover
The Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyám, Limited Editions Club, Macro of Side View
The Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyám, Limited Editions Club, Macro of Side View
The Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyám, Limited Editions Club, End Papers
The Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyám, Limited Editions Club, End Papers
The Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyám, Limited Editions Club, Macro of Decoration and Illumination of End Papers
The Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyám, Limited Editions Club, Macro of Decoration and Illumination of End Papers
The Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyám, Limited Editions Club, First Title Page
The Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyám, Limited Editions Club, First Title Page
The Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyám, Limited Editions Club, Frontispiece and Second Title Page
The Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyám, Limited Editions Club, Frontispiece and Second Title Page
The Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyám, Limited Editions Club, Macro of Frontispiece
The Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyám, Limited Editions Club, Macro of Frontispiece
The Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyám, Limited Editions Club, Macro of Second Title Page
The Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyám, Limited Editions Club, Macro of Second Title Page
The Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyám, Limited Editions Club, Sample Text #1 - Introduction
The Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyám, Limited Editions Club, Sample Text #1 – Introduction
The Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyám, Limited Editions Club, Sample Illustration #1 with Text
The Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyám, Limited Editions Club, Sample Illustration #1 with Text
The Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyám, Limited Editions Club, Sample Illustration #4 with Text
The Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyám, Limited Editions Club, Sample Illustration #2 with Text
The Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyám, Limited Editions Club, Macro of The Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyám, Limited Editions Club, Macro of Sample Illustration #4
The Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyám, Limited Editions Club, Macro of Sample Illustration #2
The Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyám, Limited Editions Club, Macro of The Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyám, Limited Editions Club, Colophon
The Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyám, Limited Editions Club, Colophon
The Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyám, Limited Editions Club, Macro of The Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyám, Limited Editions Club, Macro of Colophon
The Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyám, Limited Editions Club, Macro of The Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyám, Limited Editions Club, Macro of Colophon

About the Edition (The Folio Society Limited Edition)

  • Hand bound at The Fine Book Bindery with vellum quarter-binding, spine blocked in 22-carat gold, vellum tips and Merida paper sides
  • New etching hand-printed, signed and numbered by the artist Niroot Puttapipat, and tipped onto a special limitation spread; printed under the artist’s supervision by the Pauper’s Press on Somerset antique velvet 100% cotton mouldmade paper
  • Front board blocked in three shades of foil with a design by Niroot Puttapipat
  • Limitation page and endpapers printed letterpress by the Logan Press
  • Printed on Cordier Wove paper by Martins the Printers
  • 16 plates printed in colour with gold borders and highlights and tipped into decorative borders
  • The spine and label are hand-lettered by Stephen Raw
  • Plates printer on Hello matt art paper by Beacon Press
  • Introductions by A. S. Byatt and Edward FitzGerald
  • Quatrains set in 24-point Caslon, Gilded top edge, ribbon marker
  • 220 pages. Book size: 13″ x 9¾”
  • Presented in a cloth-bound solander box
  • Limited to 1,000 copies

Pictures of the Edition

(All pictures on Books and Vines are exclusively provided to highlight and visualize the work being reviewed.  A side benefit, hopefully, is encouraging healthy sales of fine press books for the publishers and fine retailers that specialize in these types of books (of which Books and Vines has no stake or financial interest). Please note that works photographed are copyrighted by the publisher, author and/or illustrator as indicated in the articles. Permission to use contents from these works for anything outside of fair use purposes must come directly from the copyright owner and no permission is granted or implied to use photo’s found on Books and Vines for any purpose that would infringe on the rights of the copyright owner.)

The Folio Society LE, Book in Solander
The Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyám, The Folio Society LE, Book in Solander
The Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyám, The Folio Society LE, Cover
The Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyám, The Folio Society LE, Cover
The Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyám, The Folio Society LE, Spine
The Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyám, The Folio Society LE, Spine
The Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyám, The Folio Society LE, Endpapers
The Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyám, The Folio Society LE, Endpapers
The Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyám, The Folio Society LE, Copyright and Contents
The Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyám, The Folio Society LE, Copyright and Contents
The Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyám, The Folio Society LE, Book in Solander
The Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyám, The Folio Society LE, Etching hand-printed, signed and numbered by the artist Niroot Puttapipat
Frontispiece and Title Page
The Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyám, The Folio Society LE, Frontispiece and Title Page
The Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyám, The Folio Society LE, Sample Illustration #2 with Text
The Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyám, The Folio Society LE, Sample Illustration #1 with Text

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