History of Books and Printing

Fore-Edge Paintings

Special Collections holds 102 fore-edge paintings collected by Lucia von Borosini Batten (1911-2005), a wealthy socialite who divided her time between the East and West Coasts and Albuquerque. Several of the books had previously belonged to Estelle Doheny, a noted collector of fore-edge paintings. All of the titles are cataloged and can be searched for in the UNM Libraries catalog by entering "fore-edge painting" as a keyword and limiting your search to the Center for Southwest Research & Special Collections. A few notable examples are listed below:

Edward Young, Night Thoughts (1793). With Edwards of Halifax fore-edge painting and binding. Ex libris Estelle Doheny.  

Les aventures de Télémaque (1785). Unusually large example. Ex libris Estelle Doheny.

The Cities and Wilds of Andalucia (1849). Fore-edge painting by Miss C. B. Currie.

Elizabeth Smith, Fragments in Prose and Verse (1814). Taylor & Hessey binding with a 20th-century fore-edge painting of York Cathedral.

William Butler, Exercises on the Globes (1811). Taylor & Hessey binding with a 20th-century fore-edge painting of Trematon Castle, Cornwall. Ex libris Estelle Doheny.

The Order for the Administration of the Lord’s Supper (1718). Double fore-edge painting of the Last Supper and the Descent from the Cross.

A Tour up the Straits of Gibraltar to Constantinople (1790). Later fore-edge painting of Constantinople.  

Memoirs of the War in Spain (1829). 2 volumes with fore-edge paintings of Saragossa and Cadiz. Ex libris Estelle Doheny.

Decii Junii Juvenalis aquinatis satirae (1845). English country house.

The Poems of John Gay (1822). 2 volumes depicting John Gay / Lincoln’s Inn Gate and Richard Steele / Covent Garden, by the "Thistle Painter."

The Life of Lord Byron (1846). Modern fore-edge painting of Byron’s home by Don Noble.

The Works of Thomas Gray (1825). Volume 1 has modern fore-edge painting of a ballooning scene by Martin Frost. 

Charles Dickens, The Posthumous Papers of the Pickwick Club (1836). Modern three-edge fore-edge painting of a Dickens scene by Martin Frost.

The Pictorial Edition of the Works of Shakspere (1890). Modern split fore-edge painting of Shakespeare and Queen Elizabeth by Martin Frost.