The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam:
Unknown Year Henry Altemus Company Gilbert James Edition

This edition from the Henry Altemus Company contains neither a date nor the name of the illustrator. The artwork looked familiar to me and I was able to identify it as being from Gilbert James. I have another black and white Gilbert James edition and the artwork matched to this copy and that was how I identified it. As for the date, I’m ball-parking 1920s-1930s, based on research and an inscription by the former owner.

The Book Itself

Getting the color balance was tricky. The pages look either paler or more orange-y than I think they ought to, but the lighting really impacts how they show. The address from John Hay is interesting.

The Poetry

The borders are nice, nothing else to comment on.

The Illustrations

The colors are more faded than this Gilbert James edition. The art feels quite melancholy when I look at it in this copy. I like it. I really like the art for the line “Earth could not answer; nor the seas that mourn”.

History/Information Sourcing

I looked at this Henry Altemus website to see if I could find a matching series and I came up dry. I suspect there’s a distinct dust jacket missing, given that they say most of their books include it. Based on the website’s identifying page, it’s post-1900 and probably post-1922, given the publisher name and printed in USA note. The book has a former owner’s inscription dated 1933. That doesn’t necessarily mean it’s from the 30s, though. And all together that’s why I’m thinking 1920s-early 1930s for the year of this copy.