The 1905 first Dodge Publishing Co. edition of The Rubáiyát with a wonderful deco cover and stylized color deco introduction page. This edition with sepia-toned photogravure illustrations by Adelaide Leeson (1875-1931), printed on delicate tissue pages. Leeson was a California artist and photographer (born in Coos Bay, Oregon) and was one of the first to use photography to illustrate literary works. She also hand-worked her negatives to achieve the images she wanted, being a pioneer of this technique. Leeson enlisted then well-known California literary figures, including Charles Keeler, Joaquin Miller, George Sterling and George Wharton James as male models for this project. The 1906 San Francisco earthquake and fire destroyed Hanscom's studio, along with it all of the negatives for The Rubáiyát. A few prints survived, but this book contains the the only remaining images from the project.
Translated by Edward Fitzgerald, the book is written in quatrains (a type of stanza consisting of four lines). Fitzgerald's Rubáiyát is not without controversy. Omar Khayyám was dubbed the "the Astronomer-Poet of Persia" and the authenticity of the poetry attributed to him is "highly uncertain" (Wikipedia). The popularity of FitzGerald's translation and editions has led to a long debate on the correct interpretation of the philosophy behind the poems, with skeptic and Sufism camps. This edition is also notorious as it is considered one of the first American publications to feature male nudity.
Association notes: Renée Canet Pezzi's name is written in pencil with a stylish deco flourish on the front free endpaper, and there is an embossed address for "Rancho Cañada Larga" at the bottom of the same page. Rancho Cañada Larga o Verde was a 6,659-acre Mexican land grant in present-day Ventura County, California given in 1841 by Governor Juan B. Alvarado to Joaquina Alvarado. It was purchased by Frenchman Anselme Canet around 1874 and the Canet family had a cattle operation there, along with other farming activities, for more than 100 years. Renée Canet Pezzi died in Ventura County in 1998. One of the last undeveloped major land parcels in California, the Rancho Cañada Larga is currently for sale for $27.5 million dollars for the 6,500 acres.
Dodge published later editions of The Rubáiyát in 1914 and 1916, but omitted the more risqué male nude photographs. Numerous editions of The Rubáiyát have been published over the years, this being considered one of the more desirable and unique editions, and further enhanced by its interesting association history.
With a few pages containing dried/vintage flowers laid-in, and with gold leaf/coloring to the cleanly cut top text block pages, with side and bottom text blocks having deckled edges. Item #1475.
Condition: Very Good, some soiling and spotting to covers and spine; some wrinkling to tissue pages due to age and as published; ghosting of dried flowers on opposite page where laid-in (to at least one page); the pasted down rear end paper is lifting along the back hinge, although the web binding is holding (see detail photo) - hinge cracking appears to be common in this edition; a .25" nick/tear to back free endpaper along top edge; now in a custom-made protective mylar jacket.