Glossary of Printing Terms:
Fore-Edge Painting

A watercolor decoration, usually a scene or a geometric design, painted on the ends of the pages of the fore-edge of a book. Traditionally, the pages are painted so the decoration disappears when the book is closed and only appears again when the pages are fanned.

However, the opposite can also be true of a fore-edge painting; the decoration can appear only when the book is closed. The tradition of fore-edge painting dates back to the 10th century and reached its peak of popularity in England in the latter half of the 17th century.

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