Previously we talked about book-edge decoration and showed off some beautiful examples, but we only just touched on the subject of fore-edge painting. Fore-edge painting involves “secret” or “hidden” artwork that is only visible when the books’ pages are fanned. For example:

Neat, huh?

Basically, the painting — usually of a scene, like a castle or a landscape — isn’t visible when the book is closed. The painting is actually painted onto the margin or the very edge of the book’s paper. The earliest known examples of these “hidden” fore-edge paintings date back to the 17th century.  For obvious reasons, early examples are much sought after by collectors!

Some more examples:

Though we’ve yet to experiment with fore-edge painting, Paperblanks has produced books with other forms of edge decoration. To find out more about these books go here.

About Paperblanks: We have been producing superb writing journals for nearly twenty years. We are book people, and we believe that the written word matters and that our blank books have a critical role to play in the art and continued practice of writing itself. For more about Paperblanks, go to our website at



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here