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Rare Gastronomic Book Auction: NYC April 7th

03 Mar 2008, Posted by Jennifer Iannolo in news & buzz

I received this press release this morning, and I must say that for the avid cookbook collector this could be quite an adventure:

SWANN GALLERIES APRIL 7 AUCTION OF EARLY PRINTED BOOKS/GASTRONIMIC LITERATURE FEATURES AN EMPHASIS ON 18TH AND 19TH CENTURY ENGLISH AND AMERICAN CULINARY CLASSICS.

New York—On Monday, April 7, Swann Galleries will offer a fascinating panorama of the history of cooking and dining. Provided by The Fillin & Yeh Collection of Gastronomic Literature, the auction represents the second part of the Swann Galleries sale on April 7, 2008. The collection comprises 114 lots ranging from nearly 50 pre-1800 works to inscribed first editions by M. F. K. Fisher, with an emphasis on 18th- and 19th-century English and American culinary classics.

Highlights include Patrick Lamb, Royal Cookery; or, The Complete Court-Cook, London, 1710, first edition, by the cook to 3 English monarchs ($4000/6000); Hannah Glasse, The Art of Cookery, Made Plain and Easy, one of the most popular English cookbooks of the 18th century, here in both the 1747 London first edition ($8000/12,000) and the 1805 Alexandria (Virginia) first American edition ($1000/2000); Amelia Simmons, American Cookery, Walpole, New Hampshire, 1812, later edition of the first cookbook by an American author ($2000/3000); Mary Randolph, The Virginia Housewife, Baltimore, 1836, a Southern classic and the first American regional cookbook ($400/600); Isabella Beeton, The Book of Household Management, London, 1861, first edition in book form of the bestselling English cookbook of the Victorian era ($1000/2000); Esther Levy, Jewish Cookery Book, Philadelphia, 1871, first edition of the first American Jewish cookbook; and M. F. K. Fisher, Serve It Forth, New York, 1937, first edition of Fisher’s first book, inscribed to Lucille and Walter Fillin ($600/900).

A selection of later 19th-/early 20th-century American charity cookbooks features Maria J. Moss, A Poetical Cook-Book, Philadelphia, 1864, the first American fundraising cookbook, and Hattie A. Burr, The Woman Suffrage Cook Book, Boston, 1886, apparently the earliest suffragist fundraising cookbook ($400/600 each).

The first part of the April 7 sale consists of Early Printed Books, including 16th and 17th century English books from the collection of Dr. Elmer Pfefferkorn, emeritus professor of microbiology at Dartmouth Medical School.

Among these are the complete classical translations of Philemon Holland, comprising his versions of Livy, The Romane Historie, London, 1600 ($1000/2000); Plutarch, The Philosophie, commonlie called the Morals, London 1603 ($3000/5000); Suetonius, The Historie of Twelve Caesars, London, 1606 ($1500/2500); Ammianus Marcellinus, The Roman Historie, London, 1609 ($800/1200); Xenophon, Cyrupaedia, The Institution and Life of Cyrus, London, 1632 ($1000/2000); and Pliny the Elder, The Historie of the World, London, 1601 ($1500/2500).

Also noteworthy are Thucydides, The Hystory, London, 1550, first edition in English ($2000/3000); Robert Burton, The Anatomy of Melancholy, Oxford, 1624, second edition of the first psychiatric encyclopedia ($3000/5000); Giovanni Boccaccio, The Modell of Wit, Mirth, Eloquence, and Conversation, London, 1625-20, first complete English translation of the Decameron ($4000/6000); Plutarch, The Lives of the Noble Grecians and Romans, London, 1579, first edition in English and an important source for Shakespeare’s Roman plays ($4000/6000); and Raphael Holinshed, Chronicles, London, 1587, second edition of an important source for Shakespeare’s English history plays ($3000/5000).

For further information, and to make advance arrangements to bid by telephone during the auction, please contact Tobias Abeloff at (212) 254-4710, extension 18, or via email at [email protected]

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