Bookbinding and the Conservation of Books
A Dictionary of Descriptive Terminology

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Great Omar

A binding of Vedder's illustrated edition of the Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam, measuring 16 by 13 inches, and decorated according to the designs of the English bookbinder Francis Sangorski. The Great Omar was covered in green levant morocco, and had the same green leather doublures. while brown leather was used for the flyleaves. All were decorated in a most lavish manner, each to a different design, making a total of six designs. In addition to the extremely elaborate gold tooling, there were numerous sunken panels, thousands of colored inlays, as well as some 1,050 jewels, including garnets, olivines, rubies, topazes, and turquoises. The decoration of the lower cover had as its central feature a model of a Persian mandolin made of mahogany, inlaid with silver, satinwood, and ebony.

The magnificent binding, which took nearly 2 years to complete, was probably the most lavishly decorated bookbinding ever produced. The Great Omar was the last of a series of Omars executed by the firm of Sangorski and Sutcliffe, of London. Unfortunately, only reproductions of the binding, also produced by Sangorski and Sutcliffe, now exist, the original having been lost in the sinking of the Titanic, and a later copy being destroyed in the Second World War. (236 , 319 )

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