Soyer.   Alexis Benoit    
A Handwritten Letter signed by Soyer.
Headed Reform Club. Wed 4th. 1949. With a small cut-out of Soyer's portrait tipped in. The letter states -- Dr Sir In accordance with your wishes I beg to enclose the [??] taken from my Gastronomic Regenerator. Yours Sincerely A. Soyer.
The letter is one sheet of paper folded in half. The hand-wrting is on the outside fold and on the inside is a tipped-in clip from a newspaper describing an illustrious dinner provided by Soyer for five or six hundred guests at the Chancellor-House, Hammersmith. (It provides a very flattering account of some grand dishes served. Knowing Soyer's famous penchant for self-promotion, there is a good possibility the newspaper article was attached by Soyer himself.) The letter is housed in a neat marbled, cardboard folder with a handwritten label on the front cover. A very rare item
- Alexis Soyer 1810 - 1858. The great chef of the Reform Club, Pall Mall, London. Author of eight major books on Cookery and Gastronomy, an inventor, especially of the magic and field stoves, a manufacturer of his range of sauces and relishes, an unceasing self-publicist. He led an extremely productive professional life and was famous for his newly designed Kitchens at the Reform Club, also noted for his work in the Crimea in the hospitals at Scutari and his soup kitchens in Ireland during the great famine. Refusing the urgings of his friends to rest, it was small wonder when he died burnt out at the age of 48. Despite what should have been a lucrative arrangement with Messrs Crosse and Blackwell, he left only 1500 at his death. A rum distiller called David Hart succeeded in taking all the cash and Soyer's personal papers in lieu of an unpaid debt. He destroyed all the papers and notes. Because of that short-sighted and selfish action, any signed or manuscript notes in Soyer's hand are exremely rare.

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Ephemera category
ref number: 10990