There were a number of amateurs who took an active interest in fore-edge painting. For example, John Beer was an active amateur fore-edge painter in the late 19 th century, and apparently painted hundreds of volumes (Swan 39). One of the most interesting aspects of an amateur's work is that their work was much more likely to be original. They were doing it for their own amusement, without thought of selling their art. Another feature of amateur fore-edge paintings is that the edges are typically not gilt. Although there are some amateurs that purchased older books with the gilt already applied and then added their fore-edge.

"Fur Traders Descending the Missouri," oil on canvas by George Caleb Bingham, 1845. The fore-edge reproduction appears very choppy as if painted after the book was bound. (Stanley, Arthur P. Historical Memorials of Westminster Abbey . London : John Murray, 1876.) (From the George M. & Frances L. Gill Collection)


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