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Bound by Nicky Oliver

Shahnama (The Book of Kings) by Ferdowsi
370 x 262 x 51 mm

This book has a full-leather Fair Goatskin binding, with laced on boards. The onlays are back pared and hand-dyed and the background is covered in 23.5 carat gold leaf. The French double headbands are multi-coloured. The pages are gilt edged. The doublures and fly leaves are screen printed by Nick Gordon Stromness, Orkney. The design was provided by the client and edited and created by Kim Southam.

What is the Shahnama - I asked my client to pen a description and to include why he chose this design:

"The Shahnama is the national poem of Iran written in the 10th century. Part myth, part history, part epic, part romance and part tragedy, it tells the story of Iran up to the Arab conquest of the 7th century. This printed version was commissioned by a group of Zoroastrian Iranians in the 19th century.

The central figure in the design is the Simurgh - a mythical bird - which personifies wisdom, healing and the protection of nature. I wanted the design not only to convey the magic of Iran but also to convey the beauty of the nature: the golden light in Iran, the mountains and the forests as well as pay homage to the artistry of past Persian miniaturists such as those who worked on the Shahnama of Shah Tamasp."

You can see more of Nicky's work on her web site, Black Fox Bindery


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