The Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyám

  • Translated into English Verse by Edward Fitzgerald
  • Introduced by A. S. Byatt
  • Illustrated by Niroot Puttapipat
  • The Folio Society, London, 2012
  • Book: 218mm x 301mm x 19mm
  • Box: 242mm x 387mm x 55mm
  • Bound in 2013 for the DB Annual Competition
  • Collection of Neale M. Albert, New York, USA

Full leather binding in tan goatskin with miscellaneous coloured leather onlays in green, purple and brown.
The leather is embroidered over the onlays with coloured silks using a variety of embroidery stitches.
Sections of the cover leather are washed with acrylic paint before embroidering.
The endpapers and doublures are splashed with acrylic paint, embroidered with cotton threads and then foil tooled with hand-made finishing tools.
The top and bottom edges of the text block are splashed with acrylic paint and foil tooled with hand-made finishing tools
The text block is sewn on five cotton tapes that are laced into the boards.
Description of Design
The design is based on the many references made to grapes, vines and wine made throughout the book, ‘But there are grapes, and if there are grapes there will be wine. In recognition of the grape as the fruit of fruits, the nightingale cried out to a yellow rose...’. The design of the endpapers is to look like splashes of red wine, with gold flecks adding to the opulent feel, ‘Ah, fill the is better to be merry with the grape than sad with bitter fruit’.
I also wanted the design to include a reference to the, ‘potter thumping his clay’, so I commissioned a small set of ceramic vessels to accompany the book. The book states, ‘In a potters shop one evening...I stood alone with the population of clay creations’, and I wanted in some way to include this.