1020 pp. (6 3/4 x 4 in.; 170 x 100 mm). Few minor stains. All edges gilt. Original deep maroon straight-grain morocco, blind and gilt tooling; central silver clasp. In a fitted box inlaid with velvet.
a rare example of a hebrew book with painted fore-edges
Although the technique of "disappearing" fore-edge painting was first developed in the middle of the 17th century, it only truly flourished beginning in the early 19th century. The painting was accomplished by first fanning the fore-edge of the text block (the outer edge) and clamping it in place. Then, a water-color painting would be executed on the fanned leaves. When dry, the fore-edge would then be gilt, or marbled. With this concealment, the existence of the painting would be unknown unless the fore-edge was once again fanned, revealing the underlying painted surface.
The art of painting landscapes on fore-edges was pioneered by the Englishman, William Edwards of Halifax, sometime around 1750, and the subjects portrayed by artists working in this genre often included pastoral settings such as the bucolic image depicted on the fore-ege of this Hebrew Bible.
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