Trusler.   Rev. Dr John     - Pierre Koffmann's bookplate. A signed letter from Trusler.
The Honours of The Table
OR, Rules for Behaviour during Meals; WITH THE WHOLE ART OF CARVING, Illustrated by a Variety of Cuts. TOGETHER WITH Directions for going to Market, and the Method of distinguishing good Provisions from bad; TO WHICH IS ADDED A Number of Hints or concise Lessons for the improvement of Youth, on all Occasions in Life. By the Author of PRINCIPLES of POLITENESS, &c.&c. A paragraph of 'Lord Chesterfields Letters' FOR THE USE OF YOUNG PEOPLE. The Third Edition. BATH, PRINTED BY G. ROBBINS, FOR THE AUTHOR; And sold by J. Brockwell, No. 7, Great Carter-lane. Doctor's Commons; and Byfield and Co. Charing Cross, London. 1803.
THE THIRD EDITION. 12mo. 1fep with Koffmann's bookplate. Title Page. Pp.2-67. Contents 67-72. 1fep. Twenty six engraved and bordered woodcuts of carving throughout the text. Fully bound in contemporary mid brown tree calf with nice patina. Spine with faded gilt lines. Internally very clean. Also enclosed is a folded one page hand written and signed letter from Trusler to Mr Phillips, Bookseller in St. Paul's Churchyard, discussing literary matters, including a subscription to "a 4to Edition of my Memoirs if it could be managed, & to print no more than are subscribed for - would you like to subscribe for the whole edition?". 1p. 175x230mm. Trimmed at head but complete with a central filing hole. In fine condition. With a later annotation at the bottom of the page. Under Trusler's signature - Bath, April 11 1805. When Trusler moved to Bath he published the first part of his rambling and anecdotal 'Memoirs of the Life of the Rev. Dr. Trusler. 1806. According to Lowndes he regretted its publication and tried to suppress it by destroying all the copies that he could find. The manuscript of the second part of his memoirs is now in the Lewis Walpole Library, Yale University.
- In this age of pre-sliced spiral hams and supermarket meat parts, most hosts, when faced with the job of carving at the table a large fore-rib of beef, a leg of lamb, a loin of pork or small game birds etc etc, fret and falter, unsure of where to make the first cut. This is an ancient anxiety. The Reverend Dr. John Trusler, in this work ‘The Honours of the Table’, writes of the painful "spectacle of a host, hacking for half an hour across a bone, greasing himself, and bespattering the company with the sauce". The art of carving, once the domain of only a skilled few Maître d'hotels, heads of household, and dilettante hosts is now almost completely lost. It is a tradition worth reviving though, if only so that we may regain our confidence and composure at the holiday or festive table. Trusler wrote: "Where the master or mistress of a table dissects a roast with ease and grace…they are not only well thought of, but admired." Trusler also dispenses some quirky advice. Young diners are advised to "pass no joke without a sting (punch-line)", "never pride yourself on being a wag, take no snuff, chew no tobacco", and "be not dark or mysterious" Some of the references are more obscure - women are advised: "Be cautious of un-bosooming yourself at table, particularly to a married woman." He also gives curious information as to the habits of the time. For example, the customs of 'a gentleman and a lady sitting alternately around the table' had only lately been introduced. Till then the ladies and gentlemen sat together according to rank. It also states - 'Habit has made a pint of wine after dinner almost necessary to a man who eats freely.' John Trusler is described by his DNB biographer as "eccentric, divine, literary compiler, and medical empiric." At the behest of his father he took holy orders and was curate to various parishes through much of his life; he said that in making him a clergyman, his father had spoiled a good layman. His clerical duties, however, were not an obstacle to participation in myriad civil activities: he established an academy for teaching oratory, studied medicine in Leiden, superintended the Literary Society, sold sermons to the clergy in England and Ireland to save them the trouble of writing their own, and established a successful printing and book-selling business. He also wrote books on a wide variety of subjects, including works on language and grammar, an edition of Hogarth, a very popular adaption of Chesterfield's 'Letters,' a work on practical husbandry and farming, a book on long life and many more. His 'Honors of the Table' ran to five editions. This thin volume is from the library of the well known chef, Pierre Koffmann. He was Patron and Chef de Cuisine of his famous Michelin starred restaurant -- 'La Tante Claire' on Royal Hospital Road, Chelsea, and now owned by Gordon Ramsey under a different name. Koffmann's bookplate on the inside cover is rather simple and gauche. The late Mike McKirdy of 'Cookbooks' related a story about Kaufmann's cookery books when they came up for sale at Auction. The books did not have any proof they came from the collection of such a distinguished and famous Chef. The auction house did not have much time to produce anything so ended up with Mike McKirdy's suggestion of the plump turkey on a hastily produced and photo-copied image, and used as a bookplate for the auction items. As such, I guess they give some distinction to those particular books. The hand written signed letter from Trusler though, makes this item altogether much rarer.

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Antiquarian category
ref number: 10948