Beautiful Double Fore-Edge Painting of Savannah
The Lives of the Illustrious Persons of Great Britain. London: Longman [etc.], 1820. Full green straight-grain morocco, all edges gilt, with a concealed "vanishing" double fore-edge painting of Savannah, Georgia from one angle and a second southern location from the reverse angle. Savannah's river is depicted in rippling blues and white. Six double-masted ships sail across the water, their white plumes bright against the blue of the river and the green, forested hills of the opposite bank. The sky is blue with light, long clouds in grey and violet; and few seabirds fly overhead. Long one story buildings dot the hills, while close in the foreground there are more red roofs. Savannah gives the impression of a bustling, bright, genteel river town in this remarkably detailed foredge painting. At the obverse angle, another scene is revealed: four soldiers in red coats carrying rifles, walking the perimeter of a field. Farther back we see a prosperous town with buildings of various sizes, and roofs of red and blue, which are kept company by green trees and two high steeples. One of them looks to be part of a bell tower. The sky is still a lovely blue with gentle white-grey clouds. Approximately 6 5/8 x 4 inches (17 x 10 cm); unpaginated, with 68 engraved plates throughout. A lovely, clever example of fore-edge painting. Original ownership signature on front free endpaper in contmeporary hand. Light binding wear and toning but overall in very good condition.