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    Fore-edge Painting

    [Fore-edge Painting]. [Miss C. B. Currie]. C. G. Hamilton. The Exiles of Italy. Edinburgh: Thomas Constable and Co., 1857.

    Octavo. 502 pages.

    Sumptuously bound by Riviere in full blue straight-grain morocco, ruled and decorated in gilt and blind with floral and starburst designs at the corners, heavily gilt- and blind-tooled spine with gilt titles and five raised bands, and inner gilt fillets lined in gilt ornaments. Very light shelf wear to binding. Corners lightly rubbed, with the top corners bumped. Mild offsetting to the endpapers from the fillet borders. Internal contents clean if only slightly age-toned. Small catalog blurb tipped to front pastedown. Another catalog label affixed to verso of front free endpaper. A near fine copy.

    Bound into the front is a special limitation page identifying the present volume as "No. 122 of the Books with Fore-edge Paintings by Miss Currie / The Painting under the gold is a view of The Temples of Paestum / Signed C. B. Currie." The Temples of Paestum are Ancient Greek-style structures near Naples, Italy that honor various Greek gods and goddesses. Here, Miss Currie has depicted two of the temples behind a vast field of verdant green. Two people stand in the foreground, and the right side of the painting shows a bridge with a city in the distance. A stunning work of art on a modest scale.

    "Most fore-edge painters working for binding firms did not sign their work, which explains why it is difficult to pinpoint and date the hidden paintings. A few binders did leave their marks.... In the early twentieth century, Miss C. B. Currie painted and signed her fore-edges, which are often found on bindings with painted ivory insets by Miss Currie" (Anne C. Bromer, "Fore-Edge Painting - An Introduction").

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    June, 2009
    16th-17th Tuesday-Wednesday
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