London, South Kensington
9 June 2015
[GRIMOD DE LA REYNIERE, Alexandre-Balthasar-Laurent (1758-1838).] Manuel des Amphitryons; contenant un traité de la dissection des viandes à table, la nomenclature des menus les plus nouveaux pour chaque saison, et des élémens de politesse gourmande. Paris: Capelle et Renard, 1808. Three parts in one volume, 8° (207 x 126mm). Engraved frontispiece and 16 plates. (Without the index as often.) Contemporary mottled calf, spine in compartments filled with gilt sprays, red morocco label (rebacked preserving the original spine, lower board detached, edges rubbed). Provenance: indistinct contemporary inscription on the front pastedown – Sir Charles Cockerell, 1st Baronet (1755-1837, banker; bookplate) – Alexander Meyrick Broadley (1847-1916, barrister and historian; bookplate).
FIRST EDITION of this important manual of gastronomy. It opens with a survey of history’s most famous gastronomes, followed by an extensive treatise on the carving of meat, a guide to entertaining, and the composition of seasonal menus. The author, who had observed a decline in the art of entertaining since the Revolution, remarks that a gourmand ‘who does not know how to carve or serve is like the owner of fine library who does not know how to read’. A copy with interesting provenance: Cockerell entertained lavishly, and once dined the Indian traveller Mirza Abu Talib along with 700 others. Meyrick Broadley is today best known for having defended Ahmed Urabi, Egyptian nationalist, after the failure of his revolt. Bitting p. 203; Cagle 233; Oberlé Bacchus 135; Vicaire Gastronomique 427.
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