Librarian Colleen Theisen who works at the Special Collections & University Archives at the University of Iowa shared these cool fore-edge paintings on the edge of these books from the 19th century.
It’s called fore-edge painting, and it dates back to the early 1650’s.
Basically, it’s a way of hiding a painting/art in plain sight, of which can only be seen when the pages of a book are fanned out.
Why did people do this? No one really knows honestly, but it’s pretty freaking cool! Check it out a few of the 19th century books below.
19th century books by Robert Mudie
It’s almost like magic
These are even more detailed and impressive
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