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Costello, Louisa Stuart. The rose garden of Persia. London: Longman, Brown, Green, & Longmans (pr. by Vizetelly Brothers & Co.), 1845. 8vo (19.5 cm, 7.5"). , xvi, 193,  pp. $400.00
First edition: Lushly decorative volume of works by Persian poets, compiled and translated by Costello (1815–70), an Irish-born novelist, travel writer, poet, and miniature painter known for her historical biographies of noblewomen. This is => the earliest English-language appearance of Omar Kháyyám's quatrains, preceding FitzGerald's Rubaiyat by 14 years.
Each page's text appears within one of several types of decorative frames printed in red, while => each of the ten sections opens with a gorgeously illuminated page based on Persian motifs. Additionally the half-title is also accomplished in a Persian motif and illuminated, meaning there are => eleven illuminated pages. Tait's Edinburgh Magazine (vol. XII, 1845) decreed that the volume "ought to be classed among the gift-books of 1846. It is richly embellished in the Oriental taste; glittering with golden arabesques, in every fanciful form and changing rainbow-hue." Binding: Midnight blue morocco framed in gilt double fillets and gilt dentelle-style roll surrounding central red-leather medallion stamped and decorated in gilt; spine gilt extra, with gilt-stamped red leather title-label. All edges gilt.
Binding: Midnight blue morocco framed in gilt double fillets and gilt dentelle-style roll surrounding central red-leather medallion stamped and decorated in gilt; spine gilt extra, with gilt-stamped red leather title-label. All edges gilt.
Provenance: Front pastedown with armorial bookplate of Edmund Sydney Williams (motto "E pur si muove"), front free endpaper with bookplate of "J.J.H.," the latter done by famed bookplate artist William Fowler Hopson. Back free endpaper with pencilled 20th-century purchase record. Most recently in the library of American collector Albert A. Howard, small booklabel ("AHA") at rear.
NSTC 2C38960; NCBEL, III, 374. Binding and ownership indicia as above, leather mildly rubbed at joints, edges, spine head. Original silk bookmark present. => A luxuriously printed and bound example of high "Orientalism" in the English (and Anglo-Irish!) mode. (38637) Please RESHELVE This.
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