Junius. [Fore-edge Painting].

The Collected works of Junius; finely bound in full straight-grain morocco; each volume decorated with a detailed concealed fore-edge painting

Junius. [Fore-edge Painting].


Item Number: 138525

London: Printed by T. Bensley, 1805.

Finely bound example of the collected works of Junius. Octavo, 2 volumes, bound in full contemporary straight-grain morocco with gilt titles and tooling to the spine, gilt ruling and cornerpieces to the front and rear panels, gilt turn-ins and inner dentelles, all edges gilt, each volume decorated with a concealed fore-edge painting of a provincial town. In good condition with the fore-edge paintings very bright. Bookplates and ownership inscriptions.

The term 'fore-edge painting' can refer to any painted decoration on the fore-edges of the leaves of a book, such as was not uncommon in the 15th and early 16th centuries, particularly in Italy. The term is most commonly used, however, for an English technique quite widely practiced in the second half of the 17th century in London and Edinburgh, and popularized in the 18th century by John Brindley and, in particular, Edwards of Halifax, whereby the fore-edge of the book, very slightly fanned out and then held fast, is decorated with painted views, or conversation pieces. The edges are then squared up and gilded in the ordinary way, so that the painting remains concealed while the book is closed: fan out the edges and it reappears. The technique was practiced by a few other English binders in the late 18th and 19th centuries, and a certain number of undoubted examples survive. The majority of extant examples of fore-edge paintings date to the late 19th and early 20th century on reproductions of books originally published in the early 19th century, including the present volume.

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