The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam:
Unknown Crowell Pogany Ballantyne Press Edition

This Rubaiyat edition is from Thomas Y. Crowell Co., printed by the Ballantyne Press, and contains the lovely artwork of Willy Pogany. There’s no date given, but there is an inscription (not photo’d) that is dated 1933.

Though that inscription is dated 1933, I am not too confident in putting it into 1930s bucket as I have another copy, from the George G. Harrap Co., that looks to have the same interior and is dated in the 1910s. It could be that this is actually from the 1920s or 1930s and the George G. Harrap Co. ran it through first in Britain then it was republished with different binding by Crowell in America. But it was still printed by the Ballantyne Press. I don’t know.

Regardless of the answer, this Rubaiyat edition, although my copy is in poor condition, is beautiful.

The Book Itself

The front cover is fully off and looks like it’s taken considerable damage. The inside looks fantastic, though. The interior style and art, though not new to me, is always enchanting.

It was printed in Great Britain by The Ballantyne Press.

The Poetry

I just love the embellishments and decorations on the poetry pages.

The Illustrations

The plates are beautiful and Pogany’s art is great. I took the photos with a pretty intense spotlight, so the colors look like they pop a little more than they really do.


The repairs were done myself with archival quality glue from Lineco and a new glue plot/brush. The front cover/flyleaf was completely disconnected from the spine (I forgot to take a picture to show this). I had debated to use a piece of linen to connect the main book and the cover, but I opted to just glue it together as it seemed simpler. It seemed to work as the front cover isn’t falling off anymore. The leather or whatever the cover is made of flaked off a lot by the spine during the process of repairing. I made a mistake when trying to apply force and a bunch peeled off. I don’t feel bad since it flakes off brown when generally being handled/touched. The area nearest the spine of the cover is darker, seemingly from the glue/repair process.

The repair was overall a success. Though, I imagine if I was more adept, it could have gone better.

History/Information Sourcing

See my comments on this similar edition. In addition to my musings on how this copy came to be, I did find a very similar edition on eBay…the cover is black and it’s from the Harrap Company rather than Crowell, and the lister put it as circa 1920. I’m still not convinced of anything date-wise.