As written by John Carter, "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, especially 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 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 (and protected) while the book is closed: fan out the edges and it reappears." (Carter, John, and Nicolas Barker. ABC for Book Collectors. New Castle (310, Delaware Street): Oak Knoll, 2004. Print). The collection of fore-edge books in the Bentley Rare Book Museum range in date from the seventeenth century to the early twentieth century. The majority of these books were published during the nineteenth century.

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