New York: Dodd, Mead and Company, 1885. Item #04295
'Sakoontala' or the Lost Ring
One of One Hundred and Ten Copies Printed on Japan Paper
Handsomely Bound by The Booklovers Bindery New York ca. 1914-1917
KÁLIDÁSA. WILLIAMS, Monier, translator. ´Sakoontalá or The Lost Ring. An Indian Drama. Translated into English Prose and Verse from the Sanskrit of Kálidasá by Monier Williams… New York: Dodd, Mead and Company, 1885.
"This edition, consisting of four copies on vellum, numbered from one to four, and one hundred and ten copies on Japan paper, numbered from five to one hundred and fourteen, was printed in the month of November, 1885, of which this is No. 13." (Limitation leaf).
Quarto (9 7/8 x 7 5/8 inches; 251 x 193 mm.). [iv], xviii, [iv], 236, [1, blank], [1, imprint] pp.
Bound ca. 1914-17 by The Booklovers Bindery N.Y. (stamp-signed in gilt on rear turn-in). Original decorative paper covers and spine bound in at end. Full red crushed levant morocco, covers decoratively bordered in gilt surrounding a four corner 'arabesque' design elaborately decorated in gilt. Spine with five raised bands, decoratively tooled and lettered in gilt in compartments. Four of the compartments have an inlaid diamond shaped lozenge of green morocco. Decorative gilt board edges and turn-ins surrounding a green morocco doublure also elaborately decorated in gilt, green watered silk end-leaves, top edge,gilt, others uncut. Upper joint expertly and almost invisibly repaired.
"During the 1800s American bibliophiles sent their manuscripts to fine binders in England or France - prompting an enterprising group of Grolier Club members, including Robert Hoe, Samuel Putnam Avery, William Loring Andrews, Junius Morgan and Edwin Holden, to start a bindery to rival the Europeans. They hired Henri Hardy, who had apprenticed with famed 19th-century bookbinder Charles Meunier, and Leon Maillard, considered the top finisher of gold-tooled book bindings of his era. The firm moved to Cleveland, Ohio, where it was later renamed the Rowfant Bindery (1909-1913), the Booklover's Shop (1914-1917); and the French Binders (1918-1920s) in Garden City, N.Y. Maillard's career ultimately declined and he supported himself by selling electric carpet sweepers door-to-door." (The New York Sun, September 15th, 2004).
Kalidasa probably lived in the fifth century of the Christian era. He enjoyed great popularity during his life, and the Hindus have ever regarded him as the greatest of Sanskrit poets. Very little appears to be known about his life but his writings are of great importance and historical fact.
'[S']akoontala is a Hindu play, the excellence of which is now recognized in every literary circle, not only in India but also throughout the continent of Europe. Its beauties, if not yet universally known and appreciated, are at least acknowledged by many learned men in every country of the civilized world.