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Highest Quality

The images below represent some of the highest quality fore-edge paintings in the Lilly Library's collection.

Canterbury Tales Fore-Edge Painting
Geoffrey Chaucer. The Canterbury Tales of Chaucer. To Which are Added an Essay on his Language and Versification, and an Introductory Discourse together with Notes and a Glossary. By the late Thomas Tyrwhitt, Esq. F.R.S. The Second Edition. Oxford: at the Clarendon Press. MDCCXCVIII [1798]. 2 vols.

Each volume has a fore-edge painting that depicts the Canterbury pilgrims after the painting by Thomas Stothard, volume 1 showing the left side of painting, and volume 2 showing the right side.

This set is from the library of J.K. Lilly.

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Specimens of the Early English Poets Fore-Edge Painting
[George Ellis.] Specimens of the Early English Poets. London: Printed for [James] Edwards, Pall-Mall. Printed by T. Rickaby, 1790.

The painting is done in the manner of Edwards of Halifax’s shop and shows a Tudor manor house, fox hounds, and huntsmen.

The binding uses James Edwards’ patented method of making vellum transparent so that a painting may lie visible underneath, protected from wear and water.

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Book of Common Prayer
The Book of Common Prayer, and Administration of the Sacraments, and Other Rites and Ceremonies of the Church, According to the Use of the United Church of England and Ireland: Together with the Psalter or Psalms of David, Pointed as they are to be Sung or Said in Churches; and the Form and Manner of Making, Ordaining, and Consecrating of Bishops, Priests, and Deacons. Oxford: Printed at the Clarendon Press, by J. Cooke and S. Collingwood, Printers to the University; And sold by E. Gardner, at the Oxford Bible Warehouse, Paternoster Row, London. 1820.

The artist took for an example the painting by Titian of the Virgin and Child with St. John and St. Catherine. The painting itself is very large and richly colored.

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Last Updated: 12 January 2009
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