fore edge

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Alas, poor Shakespeare, his portrait must endure it’s place upon a bowdlerized edition of his work! This beautiful double-fore-edged tome features a portrait of Shakespeare with a depiction of Anne Hathaway’s home on one side of the text block, and a be-collared Queen Elizabeth chillin’ next to Shakespeare’s birthplace on the other!

The family Shakspeare, in one volume: in which nothing is added to the original text, but those words and expressions are omitted which cannot with propriety be read in a family by Thomas Bowdler. London: Longman, Green, Longman, Roberts, & Green, 1863.                             

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Look at this amazing fore-edge painting on the 1762 edition of A new version of the Psalms of David! #bmcspeccoll #foreedge

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I got to attend the New York Antiquarian Book Fair for the first time on Friday! It was so lovely to see all of my booky friends, as well as to see the wonders everyone brought to sell– from the very small to the very large, from gorgeously tooled leather to embroidered cloth, and from fore edge to spine, everything was dazzling! If you can ever get to an antiquarian book fair, even if you don’t have the money to buy anything, I highly recommend it! It’s such a treat to see the wide variety of books that are out there, and to wonder at their beauty.

With thanks to @maggs-bros , Sokol Books, Quaritch, Jonathan A. Hill, @justincroft-blog and everyone else ♥

Some old books have hidden messages on the edge of their pages.

This was done through a technique called “fore-edge painting,” which is an illustration that is hidden on the edge of the pages of the book. The technique allegedly dates back to the 1650s.

At the London Olympia Book Fair today, I was able to see fore edge painter Clare Brooksbank work her magic! It was fascinating to watch her process, and the finished product is absolutely spellbinding!

For those of you unfamiliar, fore edge painting is a technique to disguise an image beneath the gilded fore edge of a book. The painting is only revealed when the fore edge is fanned out, as Clare so skillfully demonstrates. The trick is to paint the image while the edge is fanned, so when it returns to its resting state, the image seems to disappear!