New York: Dutton & Co., 1914. Item #04100
The Inspiration for The Grateful Dead 1971 Album Cover
"Oh, come with old Khayyám, and leave the Wise…"
SULLIVAN, Edmund J., illustrator. Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyam. Rendered into English Verse by Edward Fitzgerald. With drawings by Edmund J. Sullivan. New York: E.P. Dutton & Co., .
First American Edition illustrated by Sullivan. Quarto (9 7/8 x 7 7/16 inches; 252 x 189 mm.). xvi, , 3, blank], [1, Imprint] pp. Color frontispiece with original tissue-guard and seventy-five full-page black and white illustrations. Slight crease to text leaf LVIII.
Publishers red cloth over boards, front cover and spine pictorially stamped in gilt, top edge gilt, lower edge uncut. Inner hinges expertly and almost invisibly repaired. Light rubbing to corners, otherwise a near fine copy.
This first American edition was printed from the same sheets as the British edition of the previous year. The printers imprint on the last leaf reads "Howard & Jones, Ltd., Art Printers, 26-28 Bury Street, London, E.C."
Edmund Joseph Sullivan (1869-1933), usually known as E. J. Sullivan, was a British book illustrator who worked in a style which merged the British tradition of illustration from the 1860s with aspects of Art Nouveau. Sullivan's style is comparable to that of Aubrey Beardsley, but is more romantic than Beardley's acerbic manner. Sullivan adapted his style to use the faux-Rococotechniques he had developed in his play-illustrations in order to combine them with bizarre images of strange fantastical figures, drawing on the genre of the grotesque. His Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam, first published in London in 1913, then in New York in 1914 has a more modern day claim to fame. Here, among many fanciful and beautiful black-and-white drawings, he used images of skeletons and animated pots. One such 'skeleton' image (plate opposite Chapter XXVl) was appropriated by Stanley Mouse and Alton Kelley for a Grateful Dead poster in 1966, and album cover in 1971.