If you've just recently discovered Grace Livingston Hill, it's likely that you've never heard of a wonderful part of vintage editions called the "frontispiece" or "frontis".
This now-rare feature is an illustration in color that gave the reader a sense of the book's contents. Quite often it was also used for the dust jacket, or in the case of the early Marcia Schuyler trilogy, it may have been used as part of the "paste-on illustration", which was a small piece that was actually glued to the front cover of the book. A piece of tissue paper was also found in many early books. It was bound next to the frontispiece to protect the artwork.
The frontispiece, as you may have guessed, is found at the front of the book and is generally opposite the title page. Early reprints by Grosset & Dunlap sometimes included the frontispiece, but usually it was in black and white since the reprints were decidedly cheaper editions.
The most notable frontispiece was painted by Norman Rockwell before his Saturday Evening Post days. His artwork, which is shown above, appears in "A Voice in the Wilderness" and was also used for the dust jacket in some editions.
Many books also included illustrations throughout the book. One of the prime examples is the Marcia Schuyler trilogy. These books all contain reproductions of paintings by Grace's cousin-in-law, E.L. Henry. He was a noted painter in his day and was known for his paintings of the early 1800's. His work fitted nicely with the storyline and having permission to use those paintings helped Grace to win her first contract with J.B. Lippincott publishers. You can see them at our sister site, Illustrations from the Marcia Schulyer Trilogy along with an example of a frontispiece by Anna Whelan Betts that was also used for the cover's paste-on.
Interested in starting or adding to your vintage hardback collection? Check the list of GLH titles to see which is the first edition publisher and then take a look at my favorite place to find vintage GLH, abebooks.com, or check out what's for sale over at ebay to start collecting.