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Cookbook of the Pope’s secret chef
Cookbook of the Pope’s secret chef
Cookbook of the Pope’s secret chef
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PROPERTY OF DANA M. BALDWIN
Cookbook of the Pope’s secret chef

BARTOLOMEO SCAPPI, [1570?]

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Cookbook of the Pope’s secret chef
Bartolomeo Scappi, [1570?]
SCAPPI, Bartolomeo (c.1500-1577). Opera di M. Bartolomeo Scappi, Cuoco Secreto di Papa Pio Quinta. [Venice: Michele Tramezzino, 1570?].

The undated edition of the monumental cookbook of Papal chef Bartolomeo Scappi, who “is to cooking as Michelangelo is to the fine arts” (Willan). This work marks “the high point of Renaissance achievement and [sets] a standard by which all later cookbooks can be judged” (Willan). It not only details the lavish meals served by Scappi’s staff, it lays out the entire operation of life in the Renaissance kitchen. The engraved plates provide Europe’s first cookware catalogue, and document the layouts and functions of the different kitchens in a grand household. A folding plate depicts the procession of servers at the Papal conclave of 1550, with hampers of hot and cold foods being inspected as they are brought into the Sistine Chapel through special revolving hatches. There is some disagreement over the priority of this undated Tramezzino edition; the printer also published an edition with a colophon dated 1570 and a different state of the plates. Mortimer and Wellcome both specify that the undated edition was first, but Krohn's monograph on Scappi identifies the dated edition as first, and points out that various other dates have been suggested for the undated edition. Bitting 419 (imperfect); Deborah Krohn, Food and Knowledge in Renaissance Italy: Bartolomeo Scappi's Paper Kitchens, pp. 21-35. See also Wellcome 5811, Mortimer Italian 467, and Cagle 1182 for the dated edition; and Anne Willan, The Cookbook Library, pp. 87-91.

Quarto (205 x 144mm). Engraved portrait of Scappi, one folding engraved plate depicting the Papal conclave, 26 single-page engravings, woodcut initials and woodcut device on title (title page slightly soiled, a few small paper flaws). 18th-century calf, rebound preserving original leather by Eedy in the 19th century. Provenance: Llanover Library (bookplate and shelfmark, two stamps).

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