Guess what: your copy of the Canterbury Tales may actually be more exciting than you think (sorry, Mr. Chaucer). It’s very possible that your battered, old copy of the book contains some fore-edge painting, which is an illustration or painting that is hidden on the edge of the pages of the book. The technique allegedly dates back to the 1650s and we have no idea why people went through the trouble of painting on their old works of literature, but thanks to Colossal, now we know they are there.
You can see the painting by bending together the pages of the book, just so you can see a small piece of each page.
As impressive as this is, we can’t imagine why someone would commit countless hours to making these hidden images.
Although, in the 1800s, the ladies would have been mighty impressed.
No matter why people originally painted the edge of their books, now these tiny works of art are being sold for hundreds (and sometimes thousands) of dollars. I have a feeling me drawing on the edge of my old college textbooks with Sharpie wouldn’t have the same effect…
Here are two other examples of for-edge paintings.
Time to go check every book I own. Although I doubt my Kindle has any hidden messages…
Share this with others. Who knows, your friends may have hidden riches.