Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - November - 2012 Issue

Food and Drink from Sophie Schneideman Rare Books

Schneideman16

Food and Drink.

Sophie Schneideman Rare Books has issued a catalogue of Food & Drink. Finally, a catalogue about a topic everyone enjoys. Actually, you might not enjoy some of the older recipes. Standard fare in the 18th century might not always be pleasing to 21st century palates. Nonetheless, most of these dishes would have been quite pleasing in their day, some exquisite as many of these books were written by fine chefs for people of more than average means. Additionally, there are books about where to eat when traveling, a section on wine and spirits, and books pertaining to Derek Cooper and Alan Davidson, a couple of 20th century British food writers. Here, now, are some samples to taste.

Item 3 is one of those wonderful early recipe books with a title long enough to be a book itself. We will abbreviate: The Cook's and Confectioner's Dictionary: or, the Accomplish'd Housewife's Companion. Containing... Bisks, Farces, forc'd Meats, Marinades, Olio's, Puptons, Ragoos, Sauces, Soops, Potages... and so on. I'm not sure whether farces, forc'd meats, and puptons are some antiquarian foods or stuff popular in England today. Author John Nott was the cook for the Duke of Bolton, who certainly must have had a great variety of meals to try as there are thousands of recipes in here, including 31 for preparing pigeon alone (including pickling them). It even includes “practical joke dishes such as pies with false tops which contain live birds and frogs.” Hopefully, the Duke had a sense of humor as I would have sent Nott to the Tower. Priced at £1,900 (British pounds, or roughly U.S. $3,068).

This next piece comes from the pen of “Ignotus,” also known as Dr. Alexander Hunter: Culina Famulatrix Medicinae: Or Receipts in Modern Cookery; with a Medical Commentary, Written by Ignotus. These recipes come with medical advice and the author's sometimes biting opinions. He writes of mock turtle soup, “This a most diabolical dish, and only fit for the Sunday dinner of a rustic, who is to work the following six days in a ditch bottom.” Of course, in 1804, that would have covered about 90% of the population. The appendix also provides some timely advice on men and manners, 267 sayings such as, “Do not blame a man for hard drinking, if he belongs to a thirsty family.” Item 12. £550 (US $888).

This book is worth picking up if for no other reason then the name of the author: The Dinner Question: or, How to Dine Well and Economically, by Tabitha Tickletooth. Some might question the authenticity of that name, despite a picture of the plump, matronly looking Mrs. Tickletooth on the cover. Actually, Tabitha was one Charles Selby, a comic actor of the time when this book was published (1860). Reportedly, it is even Mr. Selby dressed as Mrs. Tickletooth in the portrait. Selby/Tickletooth provides recipes appropriate for the era along with a dose of tongue-in-cheek humor. Much of it pokes fun of the gastronomical snobbery of the time. As he says, the book provides “plain instructions for the preparation of plain dishes at the least possible expense.” “Tickletooth” also provides advice on other items of domestic life, including, appropriately enough, care of the teeth. Restaurants in London and Paris are reviewed, and he quotes an older gentleman's warning about eating rabbit in certain French establishments: “the hares cooked in these cheap establishments have in general short ears, and are apt to mew.” Item 30. £500 (US $807).

This next items also has a co-author with an interesting name, though this one appears real: The Gourmet's Guide to Europe, by Lt. Col. Newnham-Davis and Algernon Bastard. This is the book you see pictured on the cover of the catalogue. The guide provides information about eating out in restaurants all across Europe, as far as Scandinavia, Russia, Turkey and Greece. For Greece, not a favorite, “beastly” applies to almost all establishments. For Berlin, the guide notes, “go to the Bauernschanke, which has obtained a celebrity for the violence and rudeness of its proprietor, who...insults his customers to the uttermost and turns out anyone who objects.” Item 41. £125 (US $201).

Rare Book Monthly

  • <b>Bonhams, Jun 13 results:</b> Darwin, Charles. <i>On the Origin of Species.</i> Presentation Copy. Sold for $500,075.
    <b>Bonhams, Jun 13 results:</b> Darwin, Charles. Autograph Letter Signed, 3 pp, negotiating the 2nd American edition with Appleton. Sold for $21,325.
    <b>Bonhams, Jun 13 results:</b> Hemingway, Ernest. Autograph Letter Signed, 8 pp, Paris, 1924, to his father discussing Bullfighting, Stories, and his new baby. Sold for $25,075.
    <b>Bonhams, Jun 13 results:</b> Shakespeare, William. <i>Corialanus.</i> London, 1623. 1st printing [Extracted from the First Folio]. Sold for $50,075.
    <b>Bonhams, Jun 13 results:</b> Swift, Jonathan. <i>Gulliver's Travels.</i> London, 1726. 1st edition, Teerink's A edition, fine, large copy. Sold for $21,325.
    <b>Bonhams, Jun 13 results:</b> Fitzroy, Robert. Autograph Letter Signed to agent Thomas Stilwell, informing him of the progress of H.M.S. Beagle. Sold for $17,575.
    <center><b>Bonhams<br> Property from the Collection of Nicole and William R. Keck II</b>
    <b>Bonhams, Jun 13 results:</b> Shakespeare, William. <i>Sonnets.</i> 1901. 2 volumes. Printed on vellum and illuminated by Ross Turner, bound by Trautz-Bauzonnet. Sold for $13,825.
    <b>Bonhams, Jun 13 results:</b> Beardsley, Aubrey. <i>The Birth, Life, and Acts of King Arthur.</i> 1893-94. 2 volumes. Contemporary painted vellum gilt by Chivers. Sold for $5,325.
    <b>Bonhams, Jun 13 results:</b> Assisi, St. Francis. <i>The Canticle of Brother Sun.</i> Illuminated on vellum, for the Grolier Society. Sold for $7,575.
    <b>Bonhams, Jun 13 results:</b> Rackham, Arthur. <i>Peter Pan in Kensington Gardens.</i> 1/500 copies signed by Rackham. Sold for $4,825.
    <b>Bonhams, Jun 13 results:</b> Proust, Marcel. <i>Du coté de chez Swann.</i> 1st edition, 1st issue. Inscribed by Proust. Sold for $8,825.
  • <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 7:</b> Sergio Trujillo Magnenat, <i>Bogotá 1938 / IV Centenario / Juegos Deportivos Bolivarianos,</i> 1938. $2,000 to $3,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 7:</b> <i>McQueen Drives Porsche,</i> designer unknown, 1970. $800 to $1,200.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 7:</b><br>Joe Bridge, <i>Bignan / A Des Ailes,</i> 1921. $5,000 to $7,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 7:</b> Graham Simmons, <i>The Army Isn’t All Work,</i> 1919. $1,000 to $1,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 7:</b> Leonetto Cappiello, <i>Je ne fume que le nil,</i> 1912. $800 to $1,200.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 7:</b> <i>Attack of the 50 ft. Woman,</i> designer unknown, 1958. $3,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 7:</b> Raymond Tooby, <i>Festival Guiness / Have You Tried One Yet?,</i> 1952. $600 to $900.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 7:</b> Francisco Tamagno, <i>Terrot & Co. / Dijon / Cycles Motorettes,</i> 1909. $2,000 to $3,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 7:</b><br>A. Hori, Oakland / General Motors, circa 1925. $3,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Aug 7:</b> James Montgomery Flagg, <i>Travel? Adventure? Answer – Join the Marines!,</i> circa 1918. $4,000 to $6,000.
  • <b>Lark Mason Associates, Aug 8-27:</b> Roberts, David. Twenty Lithographs of the Holy Land, 19th Century. $2,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Lark Mason Associates, Aug 8-27:</b> Declaration by the Reps. of the United Colonies of N.A. 1775. $8,000 to $12,000.
    <b>Lark Mason Associates, Aug 8-27:</b> Composer Jerome Kern personal Letters, Albums and Other. $15,000 to $25,000.
    <b>Lark Mason Associates, Aug 8-27:</b> Paine, Thomas. <i>Common Sense,</i> London 1776. $8,000 to $12,000.
    <b>Lark Mason Associates, Aug 8-27:</b> Stowe, Harriet Beecher. <i>Uncle Tom’s Cabin,</i> Cleveland 1852. $4,000 to $6,000.
    <b>Lark Mason Associates, Aug 8-27:</b> Hobbes, Thomas. <i>Leviathan,</i> 3rd edition, London 1651. $2,000 to $3,000.
    <b>Lark Mason Associates, Aug 8-27:</b> Anno Regni Georgii III. Intolerable Acts and other Bills, 1774. $15,000 to $20,000.
    <b>Lark Mason Associates, Aug 8-27:</b> Wilberforce, William. An Abstract of the Evidence, 5 Letters, and two books. $6,000 to $9,000.
    <b>Lark Mason Associates, Aug 8-27:</b> Nightingale, Florence. Notes on Nursing and Signed Letters, ca. 1860 $4,000 to $6,000.
    <b>Lark Mason Associates, Aug 8-27:</b> Tolstov, Leo. <i>War and Peace,</i> 5 volumes, 1886. $3,000 to $5,000.
    <b>Lark Mason Associates, Aug 8-27:</b> Dickinson, John. Letters from a Farmer in Pennsylvania, 1768. $1,500 to $2,500.
    <b>Lark Mason Associates, Aug 8-27:</b> Twain, Mark. <i>Tom Sawyer,</i> 1877 [and] <i>Huckleberry Finn,</i> 1885. $4,000 to $6,000.

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