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What is a vanishing Fore-edge Painting?

Unlike the spine and covers of a bookbinding, the page edges are not usually decorated, however​

A vanishing fore-edge painting is where the leaves of a book are fanned and an image applied to the stepped surface.​

If the page edges are gilded or marbled, the painting miraculously disappears when the book is relaxed. When the book is fanned again it magically re-appears!

In addition the leaves can be fanned backwards or twisted, allowing yet more paintings to be applied.


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