Blogathon: “Biblio-archaelogy”: Digging through Special Collections

Do like a nice fore-edge painting, and this is one of the most erudite examinations of them out there:

University of Glasgow Library

 By Charlotte Edwards


Exploring Fore-Edge Painting in the Hepburn Bequest

In February, as part of my Museum Studies MSc, I began a project to investigate several books in the library’s Special Collections that carried a form of decoration about which little was known.  Here is what I discovered:

A (Very) Brief History of Fore-edge Painting

Taken literally, the term ‘fore-edge painting’ refers to any painted decoration applied to the fore-edge of the text block (i.e the edge of the pages opposite the book’s spine).

1600s: The earliest fore-edge paintings were painted straight onto the flat edge when the book was closed. These early works often indicated ownership and featured decorative motifs such as flowers, armorial crests and heraldic symbols.

1700s: The fore-edge paintings that interest us are slightly different: known as ‘disappearing’ or ‘peekaboo’ paintings, they were popularised in the mid eighteenth-century by the binders and booksellers ‘The Edwards of…

View original post 858 more words


About bibliodeviant

This is the journal of Jonathan Kearns Rare Books & Curiosities, and all who sail in her. Information, updates, rantings, musings and pretty pictures related (loosely I would imagine) to the world of rare and antiquarian books will be brought to you by a number of different personalities, some of whom cohabit in the same person's head. We welcome queries, comments and contributions of virtually any description, and in return we will attempt to rein in our multitudinous personality disorders and deliver wonders and joys beyond compare. At least that's the plan. View all posts by bibliodeviant

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