In 1912, bookbinder Francis Sangorski decided to produce the most elaborate binding of all time, a jeweled edition of The Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyám with illustrations by Elihu Vedder. The magnificent binding was a masterwork and contained almost 1,200 jewels. But the book and its binder were doomed.
The Harry Ransom Center recently held a stunning exhibition based upon the book and this masterpiece of bookbinding art, The Persian Sensation: The Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyám in the West.
The Ransom Center has also produced a video telling the tragic story of what happened to the greatest binding ever created: