Nignon   Edouard     - A special limited 2nd edition - #1445 of 2105.
Les Plaisirs de la Table
Ou, sous une forme nouvelle, l'Auteur a devoile maints delicieux secrets et recettes de bonne Cuisine, transcrit les precieux et de fins Gourmets fameux et de fins Gourmets, conseillers aimables et surs en l'Art du Bein Manger PREFACE DE M. ROBERT DE FLERS de l'Academie Francaise (A prinetr's device of a sheep) DESSINS de P.F. GRIGNON. A.PARIS CHEZ L'AUTEUR. 3, Place de la Madeleine et chez LAPINA. EDITEUR. 75, Rue Denfert-Rochereau Overage Depose
4to. Paste-down and fep with brown-on-brown design of food dishes and laid tables. 1fep. Half title. On the verso a breakdown of the print run stylishly designed as a wine glass and dated - April 15th 1930. Title page.[1] Dedication to A. Antonin Careme by Nignon. On verso - red illustration of a table setting. (1)ii-vii Preface by Robert de Flers. 1p Chapitre Premier. [1] 3-330. 331-334 Errata. 335-339 Table des Matieres. 1p Printer's device. 1fep. Last page and paste-down with brown-on-brown design of food dishes and laid tables. Text in black with many very fine red illustrations throughout. The start of each chapter is a full page illustrated design in red. Full original art nouveau style red and black paper cover with gold embossed lines in very good slightly faded condition. The spine has 1.5" chip at the top of the spine and a small chip at the bottom but has been finely repaired. Internally very clean. Edges untrimmed and many uncut.
- This handsome fully original copy of 'Les Plaisirs de la Table' is a true reflection of Nignon as a highly gifted chef who had a reputation for cooking very fine food. In print it is even recorded that at the time when Nignon was the Maitre Chef de Cuisine at Claridges Hotel in London, many in the trade thought him a superior craftsman to Escoffier, who was at the same time, Maitre Chef de Cuisine of The Carlton Hotel in Pall Mall. This copy although slightly larger page-wise than the first edition of 1926, is of a more pleasing design.

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Information

Modern category
ref number: 11143

Nignon.   Edouard     - in fine original state.
Les Plaisirs de la Table
Ou, sous une forme nouvelle, l'Auteur a devoile maints delicieux secrets et recettes de bonne Cuisine, transcrit les precieux et de fins Gourmets fameux et de fins Gourmets, conseillers aimables et surs en l'Art du Bein Manger PREFACE DE M. ROBERT DE FLERS de l'Academie Francaise (A prinetr's device of a sheep) DESSINS de P.F. GRIGNON. A.PARIS CHEZ L'AUTEUR et chez J. MEYNAIL, Libraire, 30, Boulevard HAUSSMANN OUVRAGE DEPOSE.
FIRST EDITION. Circa 1926. 4to. Paste-down and fep with red and blue print design. 1fep. Half title. [1] 1p Dedication to A. Antonin Careme by Nignon. Frontispiece is a small red illustration. Title page.[1] (1)viii-xiv Preface by Robert de Flers. 1p Chapitre Premier. [1] (1)18-326. 1p Journal. [1] (1)329-333 Table des Matieres. 1p Printer's device. Last fep and paste-down with red and blue print design. Text in black with many very fine red illustrations throughout. The start of each chapter is a full page illustrated design in red. Full original blue and crimson paper cover in very good slightly faded condition. The covers supported by strong cardboard inserts. Internally very clean with pages slightly age browned due to the paper quality used at that time. Edges untrimmed. A nice original copy of an unusually well designed cookery book in Art Nouveau style.
- Edouard Nignon was born, one of eight siblings, in Nantes on November 9, 1865. At the very tender age of ten he was apprenticed to the restaurant Cambronne in Nantes, October 9, 1874. A year later, October 20, 1875, he entered the restaurant Monier, the best in the town. Some women there taught him to read and write in the style of the area. Later he worked in some of the largest Paris houses with the greatest chefs such as the Cafe Anglais and The Paillard, gaining a classic apprenticeship and elsewhere; Asst. Chef saucier at Chez Bignon. Chef saucier at Chez Voisin. Chef entremettier à l'exposition de 1889. Chef rôtisseur at La Lapérouse. Chef des cuisines at Marivaux. His many experiences and positions gave him access to the highest levels of society and a growing reputation. Nignon emigrated to Austria as Chef to the Emperor of Austria and then to Russia where he served the Czar and at L'Ermitage in Moscow and commanded a Kitchen brigade of 120 chefs. He also travelled to Britain where he held the post from 1894 - 1901 of Maitre Chef des Cuisiniers at Claridges Hotel in London. At this time another great Chef - Escoffier, was working at the Savoy and then the Carlton Hotel, Pall Mall. It is rumoured in print that there was a professional rivalry between the two chefs. The rumours indicate that many thought Nignon to be the more creative and precise craftsman. Nignon made his fortune and returned to Paris where he bought a house in 1908 and created the Restaurant Larue in the Place de la Madeleine. It became the most elegant in Paris, its customers were the finest in the world; artists, poets, writers, government ministers, stars of the stage, kings and princes, also cooking for President Woodrow Wilson. One client, le Marquis de Rouge, a prominent gourmet, once told Nignon that he liked and wanted a pink duck dish. Nignon created the famous ‘Caneton à la presse’, serving it with a bottle of Musigny 1884. He is also credited with creating the dish 'Homard à l'Américaine'. Nignon was also a successful business-man. Sacha Guitry, who knew him well, later wrote in the preface to one of his many books; ‘He always consulted with profit’. For the last years at his restaurant Nignon traded the chef’s toque for the Maitre d’ Hotel’s black uniform. His fame grew and grew. Observed going from table to table, advising a sole, offering a partridge, suggesting a dessert or a wine from his famous cellar, it was said that all Paris dined at his table. Nignon retired in 1921 and returned to Britain, where he died in 1934. (one year before Escoffier expired). Besides ‘Les Plaisirs de la Table’, he wrote two other great books: ‘L’Heptameron des Gourmets, ou, Les Delices de la Cuisine Francaise’, and ‘Eloges de la Cuisine Francaise’.

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Information

Modern category
ref number: 11134

Nignon.   Edouard     - In fine original condition.
E. NIGNON ELOGES DE LA CUISINE FRANCAISE
PRESENTATION DE SACHA GUITRY (A small illustration of game, fish, casserole and wine bottle) PARIS L'EDITION D'ART H. PIAZZA 19, RUE BONAPARTE. With an elaborate ornate illustrated blue/green border.
FIRST EDITION 1933. 238 x 190mm. 1fep. Half title. [1] Title page. [1] Pages 1&2 Presentation by Sacha Guitry. Dedication page to Robert de Flers. [1] 1page with large illustration in blue/green. [1] 11-426. 427-441- Index Alphabetique. [1]443-444 Index. Many beautiful illustrations thoughout. 1page Ouverges de Meme Auteur. 2feps. Text block in fine clean condition with many pages uncut. Original complete soft covers. The spine is age browned and the covers slightly less so, but everything as originally issued and clearly legible (See image # 1). A wonderful copy.
- While researching Nignon’s book I came across an article written in the Hotelkeeper & Caterer on 4th May 2004 by Michel Roux, the famous chef & proprietor of the Waterside Inn, Bray, Berkshire. It explained the book so well that I have copied the article in its entirety…….. “The cookbook I refer to most is 'Eloges de la Cuisine Française' by Edouard Nignon. It was originally published in 1933, but I found my copy quite by chance 35 years ago in a London bookshop. (It seems to be available only at auction now.) I knew about Nignon, of course - that he was one of our great chefs along with Escoffier and Carême, but I hadn't read anything that he'd written. As soon as I picked the book up and flicked through it I was hooked. I could sense the spirit of the man behind it - a man with a great passion for his career. Food for him was a life, a mission. He not only loved cooking, he loved to eat, too. And as well as being a great chef, he worked front-of-house in his own Paris restaurant, Le Restaurant Larue, in the early 20th century. That struck a chord with me, because when Albert and I first opened Le Gavroche in London we used to take it in turns to put on our evening suits and take the orders at the table. Something that made this book special was the fact that it really was ahead of its time. The way Nignon cooked would be totally acceptable today. His recipes show true respect for his produce, and they are light already - not dependent on cream at all. They rely on skill and the quality and taste of produce. This is why I love the book so much. The book is divided into three parts, with two-thirds being recipe-led and the remaining third being about Nignon's life. The first part is broadly on gastronomy, the second part is on the treasures of the kitchen - flavours, the table, etc - and the third part is written around different dinners that Nignon cooked. All the pages of my book are well-thumbed, and I can say absolutely that elements of many of my dishes have been inspired by the recipes and philosophies in it. Nignon passed on such a wealth of knowledge and wrote in such a passionate and inspirational manner - the beauty of a true master. The book is like a companion to me, because I can see part of myself in the book. It is truly inspirational to me - a work of art. Some of my more senior chefs at the Waterside have read this book, but as it is written in French and it is a very advanced book, it would have very little meaning to young chefs who are at the start of their culinary career, I think. It's one for when you are older.”

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Information

Modern category
ref number: 11195

Nignon.   Edouard     - Extremely rare Nignon menus.
Claridges Hotel London.
Two of Edouard Nignon's menus dated 1900.
Menu 1. 163 x 100mm. Cream coloured card with a bright embossed American flag. A ten course dinner menu dated 4 Juillet 1900. Obviously celebrating American independence day. A clean item still in very good condition, with the word 'Menu'. embossed in gilt. Menu 2. 147 x 82mm. Similar cream coloured card with two crossed flags, one being the Queen's Royal Standard and the other is the Union Jack. The menu is titled the 'Atlantic Union'. The flags and the word 'Menu' are brightly coloured and embossed. The menu has twelve courses and dated 19th May 1900. Clean bright menus in good condition housed in a cardboard folder covered with marbled paper and a label on the front cover. Very rare.
- Claridges Hotel, Brook St, London, has always been the most important hotel in the UK for diplomatic dinners and social functions. Even today there are approx. one dozen state banquets hosted during the season by the Queen personally, for various Embassies and visiting Heads of State. As both menus here are decoratively very handsome but understated, they appear to be above the norm. The first one for American Independence day could have been hosted by or for Joseph Choate the American Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to the Court of St. James's, presented 1899 and recalled 1905. The Chef de Cuisine at that time, Edouard Nignon, had a classic apprenticeship in some of the greatest French kitchens of the time. He diligently trained in all the main departments; Saucier, Rotisseur, Entremetier, Poissonnier, Garde manger, Patissier and Tournant. He was Chef de Cuisine to the Tsar and the Emperor of Austria, eventually becoming the owner of the famous Restaurant Larue on rue Royale in Paris. In between those two famous positions he was at Claridges Hotel from 1894 - 1901. He was known to be a fantastic craftsman and the food at Claridges was thought by many to be the best in London. This was despite having Escoffier ensconced at the same time in the Carlton Hotel, Pall Mall. As displayed below these 2 Claridges menus of Nignon's, came from a private collection of approximately 127 menus belonging to the great grandson of Camille Albert who was the Head Banqueting Waiter at the Carlton Hotel from 1898 - 1905. About 85 of the menus in the collection are from Escoffier's time at the Carlton, while the others are from other famous London venues. Escoffier's menus are relatively rare while on the other hand, Nignon's are extremely rare. This is possibly due to the fact that while Escoffier was a Chef de Cuisine at the Savoy and Carlton Hotels in London for almost 30 years, Nignon had a tenure in London of under 7 years. I have been searching for Nignon's menus for 30 years and these two are the first I have found.

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Information

Ephemera category
ref number: 11210

Nignon.   Edouard     - A rare signed copy.
Les Plaisirs de la Table
Ou, sous une forme nouvelle, l'Auteur a devoile maints delicieux secrets et recettes de bonne Cuisine, transcrit les precieux et de fins Gourmets fameux et de fins Gourmets, conseillers aimables et surs en l'Art du Bein Manger PREFACE DE M. ROBERT DE FLERS de l'Academie Francaise (A prinetr's device of a sheep) DESSINS de P.F. GRIGNON. A.PARIS CHEZ L'AUTEUR et chez J. MEYNAIL, Libraire, 30, Boulevard HAUSSMANN OUVRAGE DEPOSE.
FIRST EDITION. Circa 1926. 4to. Paste-down and fep with red and blue print design. [1] 1 plain fep with Nignon’s signature and a dedication written in ink in a beautiful cursive script; a Madame Erlanger Respectueux Hommages de L’auteur E. Nignon. Half title. [1] 1p Dedication to A. Antonin Careme by Nignon. Frontispiece is a small red illustration. Title page.[1] (1)viii-xiv Preface by Robert de Flers. 1p Chapitre Premier. [1] (1)18-326. 1p Journal. [1] (1)329-333 Table des Matieres. 1p Printer's device. Last fep and paste-down with red and blue print design. Text in black with many very fine red illustrations throughout. The start of each chapter is a full-page illustrated design in red. Full original blue and crimson paper cover in very good condition. Internally very clean with pages slightly age browned due to the paper quality used at that time. Edges untrimmed and many pages uncut. A nice original copy of the first edition with the author’s signature.
- Edouard Nignon was born, one of eight siblings in Nantes on November 9, 1865. He died in Britian in 1934 one year before his great professional French compatriot, Auguste Escoffier. Nignon considered by many contemporaries to have been one of the best chefs of the time. He wrote and published three main titles. Two editions of Les Plaisirs de la Table, the first published in 1926. Two editions, the first published in 1919 of L' Heptaméron des Gourmets, ou, Les Délices de la Cuisine Française. One edition, first published in 1933 of Éloges de la Cuisine Française. Copies with Nignon’s signature are extremely rare.

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Information

Modern category
ref number: 11186

Nott.   John     - With the bookplate of 'Steuart of Allanton' one of the oldest Scottish families
The Cook and Confectioner DICTIONARY:
Or, the Accomplish’d Housewife’s Companion. CONTAINING, 1. The Choicest Receipts in all the several Branches of Cookery; or the best and newest Ways of dressing all sorts of Flesh, Fish, Fowl, &c. for a Common or Noble Table; with their proper Garniture and Sauces. 11. The best way of making Bisks, Farces, forc’d Meats, Marinades, Olio’s Puptons, Ragoos, Sauces, Soops, Potages, &c. according to the English, French and Italian Courts. 111. All manner of Pastry-workss, as Biskets, Cakes, Cheese-cakes, Custards, Pastes, Patties, Puddings, Pyes, Tarts, &c. 1V. The various Branches of Confectionary; as Candying, Conserving, Preserving, and Drying all sorts of Flowers, Fruits, Roots, &c. Also Jellies, Composts, Marmalades, and Sugar-works. V. The way of making all English potable Liquors; Ale, Beer, Cider, Mead, Metheglin, Mum, Perry, and all sorts of Eng-lish Wines; Also Cordials, and Beautifying Waters. V1. Directions for ordering an Entertainment, or Bills of Fare for all Seasons of the Year; and setting out a Desert of Sweeet-meats to the best Advantage: With an Explanation of the Terms us’d in Carving. According to the Practice of the most celebrated Cooks, Confectioners, &c. in the Courts of England, France, c. and many private and accomplish’d House-wives. The Second Edition with Additions. Revised and Recommended By John Nott, late Cook the Dukes of Somerset, Ormond and Bolton; Lord Landsdown and Ashburnham. LONDON: Printed H.P. for C. Rivington, at the Bible and Crown, in St. Paul’s Church-yard. 1724. [Price six Shillings.]
8vo. 2feps. [1] Frontis-piece by J.Pine. Title page in red and black type. [1] 4p Introduction with printers device at the top. 2p Divertisements in Cookery. No page numbers but by the Alphabet 1+AL-YO. 14p Bills of Fare and Terms for Carving and setting out Dessert. 17p Index. 1p Advertisements. 2feps. Beautiful original two-tone dark tan boards with a modern dark calf spine with rasied bands and blind tooling. With a dark tan label and gilt lettering. A nice tightly bound and clean copy.
- John Nott, Cook to his Grace the Duke of Bolton strikes one in no small measure as being quite eccentric, at least on paper. In his book, the dedication is addressed to ‘all good housewives’ and starts ‘Worthy Dames----‘ He carries on, ‘-----it is unfashionable for a Book to come abroad without an Introduction, as for a Man to appear at Church with-out a Neckcloth, or a Lady without a Hoop-petticoat----‘ further on he states, ‘----of which I am satisfied you are already very sensible, or extol my own Performance; however, I flatter myself it will not, to you, be unacceptable----‘ he further addresses the Ladies, ‘---I have not troubled you with Fucus’s and Paints, for the putting of false Faces upon Nature, because you, my Country Women, for the Generality of you (as is allow’d even by all ingenious Foreigners) stand less in need of artificial Faces (your natural ones being more amiable) than those of your Sex in neighbouring Nations, with all their Paintings and Daubings;-----‘ Nott un-does his own efforts near the end of the dedication by proclaiming, ‘---And, indeed, great Pity were it if this Beneficence of Providence should be marr’d in the ordering, so as justly to merit the Reflection of the old Proverb, that though “God sends us Meat, yet the Devil does Cooks”------.’ I am sure that if English and also foreign Housewifes, as potential customers, had read the Dedication before buying it, the sales of Nott’s book would have taken a severe dip. However in saying all of the above, it is after all, extremely scarce, interesting and well laid out. There are very few copies that come up for sale at auction, bookfairs, in antiquarian bookshops or dealers catalogues.

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Information

Antiquarian category
ref number: 11037

Nutt.   Frederick     - an untrimmed copy.
THE IMPERIAL AND ROYAL COOK;
CONSISTING OF THE MOST SUMPTUOUS MADE DISHES, RAGOUTS, FRICASSES, SOUPS, GRAVIES,&c. Foreign and English: INCLUDING THE LATEST IMPROVEMENTS IN FASHIONABLE LIFE. SECOND EDITION. BY FREDERICK NUTT. AUTHOR OF THE COMPLETE CONFECTIONER. LONDON; PRINTED FOR SAMUEL LEIGH, STRAND; AND BALDWIN, CRADOCK, AND JOY, PATERNOSTER ROW. 1819
8vo 195x120mm. 1fep. Half title. [2] Frontispiece with signature 'Frederic Nutt Esq.' Engraved by Woodman from a Drawing by Satchell. Title Page. (1)vi-viii Advertisements. (1)x-xxiv Contents. (1)2-268. (1)270-276 Index. 1fep. Original cardboard boards with advertisements on both sides. Lightly age browned but still very clearly legible. Rebacked with 1/4 dark brown modern calf with raised bands with fine gilt tooling. Two labels, one red and one black with gilt lettering. Internally very clean with original untrimmed edges. A very good copy.
- The original advertisements on the front cover gives all the information for this book. Two interesting points; It states this is the second edition but the date on the cover is 1820, while on the title page it states 1819. The back cover is a full advert for Nutt's other famous book 'The Complete Confectioner' also dated 1820. The first edition for this book is 1809 and the first edition of 'The Complete Confectioner' is 1789. Also of interest, Nutt has his first name on the front cover spelt Frederic, and on the back as Frederick. Bitting has this second of 1819, Oxford the first of 1809, Cagle the first also, and the BL one of each. A very scarce book especially untrimmed and with the original boards.

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Information

Antiquarian category
ref number: 11026

NUTT.   Frederick     - The very rare first edition.
The Complete Confectioner
The COMPLETE CONFECTIONER; or the Whole ART of CONFECTIONARY: Forming a Ready Assistant to all Genteel FAMILIES; giving them a PERFECT KNOWLEDGE of CONFECTIONARY: with INSTRUCTIONS, NEATLY ENGRAVED ON TEN COPPER-PLATES, How to decorate a TABLE with TASTE and ELEGANCE, Without the Expence or Assistance of a Confectioner. By a Person, Late an Apprentice to the well known Messrs. Negri and Witten, of Berkley Square. London: Printed for the Author; and sold by J. Mathews, No. 18, Strand, MDCCLXXXIX. Price 10s 6d. neatly bound. Entered at Stationers Hall. (Nutt's name did not appear on the title page until the 3rd edition of 1806)
FIRST EDITION. 8vo. Pp. Half title. Title page [v-xxiv] [1] 2-212 Illustrations: Ten engraved plates, three folding, nine of table settings and one - a pastry moulding tool. (Plates 2&3 bound in back to front) A very clean copy with minimal stains. Fully bound in dark brown calf, rebacked, raised bands with blind tooling , red label with gilt lettering. Contemporary boards slightly bumped with nice polished patina. A rare item.
- Although Nutt did not add his name to the 'Complete Confectioner', it is understood that it was out of respect for another famous confectioner, Domenico Negri, at the 'Pot and Pneapple' shop in Berkley Square, where Nutt had been formally apprenticed. This probably means that many of the recipes contained in the Complete Confectioner are from the 'Pot and Pineapple' as well as his other places of employment. All conscientious apprentices would keep a journal of all recipes seen and done, as they went about learning their trade. This can be seen in the original Frederick Nutt manuscript this compiler has in his collection. Approximately a total of a third of the recipes in the manuscript match all the recipes in this first edition. The eminent cookery book dealer, Janet Clarke, informs us in her catalogue online, a very interesting little snippet about Nutt the professional confectioner and his book. To quote; "The author was obviously highly proficient in his art and his recipes are meticulous and was, at one time, offered £1000 to withdraw his work from the public in order to protect his fellow confectioners who were fearful of losing business to those who might rival them having learned their art through this work". He obviously declined the offer. One wonders in what regard Nutt's fellow professionals held him after that.

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Information

Antiquarian category
ref number: 10909

NUTT.   Frederick     - A superlatively rare find
Signed Hand Written Manuscript Recipe Book -- circa 1789.
The manuscript is in 5 approximately even sections with one fifth of the total pages blank: 1st section -- 214 numbered receipts with an index. 2nd section -- 59 numbered receipts with an index. 3rd section -- 9 pages of English spelling & shorthand studies. 4th section -- 69 pages of unnumbered receipts; mainly sweets, wines, cordials and pickles. No index. Frederick Nutt’s signature is on the very first page and in the 2nd section, above recipe # 42, for Currant Jelly. There is a date in the 4th section of June 10th 1826. The first section is almost the same as the 1st printed edition of Nutt’s 'Complete Confectioner' of 1789; It is almost identical in recipe sequence, recipe content and index. Out of 237 recipes in the 1st edition, there are only 44 recipes out of sequence in the manuscript. Most of the 44 recipes can be found in the 2nd section of the manuscript. The 2 biggest anomalies in the 1st section index are - # 1 -- the block of 6 ‘Cordials’ starting with recipe # 182. They are not asked for in the index of ‘The Complete Confectioner’. Anomaly # 2 – in ‘The Complete Confectioner’ there are 7 recipes in the chapter ‘Fruits Preserved in Brandy’ (recipe # 180) -- that are not in the 1st section of the manuscript, but scattered in the 2nd section. This is without doubt, Frederick Nutt’s own manuscript recipe book -- circa 1789, which he used to publish the 1st edition of his 'Complete Confectioner'.
16mo The manuscript measures 3 3/4" x 6 1/4". The book is dis-bound with back board present. The text block is tight. There are a couple of pages loose. All pages age browned. The text is small, neat, legible and in Nutt's handwriting throughout. Preserved in a brown cloth covered hand tied, folding sleeve. All held in a fine modern full tan calf clamshell box. Raised bands on spine with gilt lines and blind tooling in the compartments. 2 labels - one red, one green with gilt lettering. The boards edged with gilt lines.
- Although Frederick Nutt did not add his name to his famous book, 'The Complete Confectioner', it is understood that it was out of respect for another famous confectioner, Domenico Negri, at the 'Pot and Pineapple' shop in Berkley Square, where Nutt had been formally apprenticed. This probably means that many of the recipes contained in this manuscript and 'The Complete Confectioner' are from the 'Pot and Pineapple' as well as his later places of employment. All conscientious apprentices would keep a journal of all recipes seen and done, as they went about learning their trade. As can be seen in this detailed manuscript, in this respect Nutt was no exception, giving one a sense of a very diligent craftsman. One aspect of the manuscript that it is quite startling is how little editing happened between the manuscript (see the detailed description of this item above) and the published first edition of 'The Complete Confectioner'. Compared to today's multi-faceted approach and effort needed to get a successful cookery book onto the market, the manuscript and the subsequent book, surprise and amaze by their simplicity.

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Information

Antiquarian category
ref number: 10908

Oxford.   Arnold Whitaker     - with a tipped-in letter signed by Oxford
Notes from a Collector's Catalogue
With a Bibliography of English Cookery Books, By A. W. Oxford. London: Messrs. JOHN and EDWARD BUMPUS. Limited, 350, Oxford Street. 1909.
FIRST EDITION 1909. On the first blank, a tipped in one page letter written and signed by Oxford. [1] Title page. [1] 1p Contents. [1] (1)2-116. 1p with printers info. [1] 2 feps. With original very clean grey cardboard boards with black ink title on the front. A cream cloth spine lightly browned. Half the original label missing. Internally a very clean, tight binding and untrimmed. Overall a very good copy in the original state. A very scarce item especially in this condition and with the signed letter.
- Dr. Arnold Whitaker Oxford was born at Keynsham in 1854, and graduated from Oxford University. He died on May. 30 1947 at the age of 93 after enjoying a long medical career. At one time he was resident at Charing Cross Hospital. He wrote quite a few books. Some on Freemasons but the better known on cookery. Oxford was an inveterate and odd collector. He started with playing cards and their accessories, and among many other collecting fevers he amassed collections of old silver, stay busks, knitting needle sheaths, domestic implements, seals and writing materials. diaries and engravings, religious objects, Egyptian antiquities, calendars, clocks and finally the items that fired him up the most: cookery books. He wrote two cookery bibliographies that are much used by collectors. This one -- 'Notes from a Collectors Catalogue' and the more comprehensive ' English Cookery Books to the Year 1850' On page 40 of the 'Notes from a Collectors Catalogue' there is a very good list of English books on Cookery and Carving up to the year 1699. Listing not only Oxford's collection, but also the holdings of the Bodleian, the British Museum, and the Cambridge and Patent Office libraries. At the back is also an STC of Cookery Books from 1700. The handwritten letter by Oxford is in his small 'hard to read' style states (as far as I can make out) -- 'July 2.19.08 Dear Sir I hear you bought lot 68 at Sothebys on June 25. 1908. I should be most obliged if you would let me see 'The Court & Country Cook' at home if ------. I cant come up and see it myself as I have been in bed for weeks. I am writing to present you with a book of mine as you will see from it on page 97 ----- I must want the ----. Y faithfully a.w. oxford.' (then written & underlined in another hand) --'Entered 3.7.09'. The cookbook 'The Court & Country Cook' referred to above by Oxford can be seen on this site - item #11120. This is a translation into English of Massialot’s two famous books, 'Nouveau cuisinier royal et bourgeois' and 'Nouvelle instruction pour les confitures'. As this book was printed in 1702. One wonders whether Oxford had already seen a copy and wanted to re-check some details for his Collector's Catalogue of 1909, or this was his first sight of a very rare book.

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Information

Modern category
ref number: 11093