Cassells       - Extremely rare 20 original parts.
New Dictionary of Cookery
20 booklets each one 4to - 244x170mm x 6mm thick. The booklets are not separately paginated but continuously numbered from the first to last one. Booklet twenty finishes on page 1165 and an index. Each booklet though has a lovely unique coloured frontispiece. Many fine illustrations in the text. All the booklets, text and light grey-blue covers in fine condition, except for the covers on booklet one and twenty are a little rubbed. They are all housed in a large bottle green clamshell box with cloth boards, half bottle green morocco spine with raised bands and two red labels and fine gilt tooling. A very fine rare set.
- The conclusion of a lot of research into relatively scarce, varied and confusing details about ‘Cassells Dictionary of Cookery’ is hard to condense. It appears that the first edition in book form is un-dated and printed - 1875-76. There are four copies in British holdings; BL. Nat. Trust. Nat Lib. of Wales & Oxford. The next edition, -1877, has 10 coloured plates including a frontis, and many illustrations. An 1878-80 single volume in the BL appears to be a version issued in thirteen parts since the original blue paper binding of Part 1, price 6d, is bound in before the frontispiece. Each part cost 6d except the thirteenth, which sold for 8d. An 1888 OB rebound volume was originally issued in thirteen parts bound in red paper. An LB copy printed in 1896 at London, Paris and Melbourne by Cassell and Co Ltd is the version issued in ten parts costing 6d each, originally bound in blue paper then inexplicably rebound into one volume by the library. An OB volume was originally issued in ten parts costing 6d each and bound in blue paper. Quite why the libraries feel it is right to rebind into one volume these sets of original monthly booklets is unbelievable and unforgivable. The next significant issue in one volume was printed in 1904 in London, Paris, New York and Melbourne by Cassell and Co Ltd. It was now named ‘Cassells New Dictionary of Cooking’’ It appears it was issued as a single volume , This single volume was also issued in twenty fortnightly parts. (Inside booklet one of this set is a yellow form that people can fill out to order the booklets) There is no doubt that this set of booklets seen here are exceedingly rare, possibly as rare as Mrs Beeton's twenty four original parts of "Household Management'. The reason for the rarity is now obvious. After doing this research on Cassells Dictionary, the sets of the original booklets, whether ten, thirteen or twenty have mostly been rebound into single volumes by many libraries. Whereas it may be explained that rebinding the booklets into one volume helped to preserve them from the multiple handling of numerous readers, conversely, it loses forever the uniqueness of the original separately bound parts, all with their own covers. Although ‘Cassells Dictionary of Cookery’ books may not be fervently collected which may be explained by the fact they are published by a company rather than an individual. There are many booklets produced with great charm by companies promoting single products. Beautiful booklets of that ilk that come to mind are those promoted by Elizabeth David for various wine companies and Le Crueset. Another is Liebig Company's Cookery book. Cassell's booklets on Cookery are not promoting a product but rather published and sold by a company. They have been produced with great care and thought and are a large undertaking. As explained in the preface of the first booklet, it was set out in alphabetical dictionary format to enable the user to find a dish easily. Many of the recipes were made and tested by Mr V. Benoist of 30 Picadilly London. This is the same V. Benoist who set up on 26 Feb 1910 using the same name, the famous wholesale purveyor of food, beverages and tobacco. An exciting find and in some ways nicer than Beeton's booklets. Not found in any of the bibliographies nor auction records.

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Antiquarian category
ref number: 11216