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Significant/Antique/Collectible/Vintage/Etc. Cookbooks


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A stop into the used bookstore in the French Quarter yielded the purchase of a 1997 book on Cape Malay cooking and a peek at a crumbling New Orleans cookbook from the 1830s.

I never saw this thread before today. And Kathy has a point. There are significant Burgundies but would someone who is only into Bourdeaux care? One person's "significant" cookbook might be pointless

I have a first edition of Entertaining is Fun and I understand some would consider it a significant work. I just happened to love it and found it kitschy....it also cost me .50. Oh and it is pretty

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An example would be Charles Ranhofer's The Epicurean (1920), originally published in 1894.

 

What would be some titles, authors, and details on other significant/antique/collectible/vintage/etc. cookbooks or wine books?

 

I am very surprised that there has not been any interest in this thread here on MF.

 

Following up about The Epicurean ...

Charles Ranhofer (November 7, 1836, St.-Denis, France — October 9, 1899, New York) was the chef at the famous Delmonico's Restaurant in New York from 1862 to 1876 and 1879 to 1896. Ranhofer was the author of The Epicurean, (1894), an encyclopedic cookbook of over 1,000 pages, similar in scope to Escoffier's Le Guide Culinaire.

 

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It's not a matter of lack of interest. It's just up there with the antique flyfishing books. Uhhh, and serious art collecting. You've given me a new project, however. I've mentioned it somewhere here before that forty years ago my next door neighbor had a remarkable collection of old cookbooks she couldn't sell. I'm talking 1700-1800 century ones. There was no market for them. She finally got so disgusted she gave them to the local university for a tax write-off. I should get in my car and go see if they still have any of them. She gave me a box of Godey's and Peterson's Magazines, hardbound with all the hand-colored fashion prints, for $5/book. The earliest is 1857. There still isn't much of a market for those, last I checked, but what a joy to read. Quite a lady, Mrs. Sarah J. Hale. She promoted physical activity and ladies to become doctresses. She also finally talked President Lincoln into declaring Thanksgiving as a national holiday.

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Red Wine with Fish?

 

I don't think it's so much a lack of interest as, c'mon, that is an awfully broad question to ask. What are the significant/antique/collectible/vintage/etc. pieces of furniture I should be looking for? Pieces of pottery? Pieces of jewelry? See what I mean?

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I don't think it's so much a lack of interest as, c'mon, that is an awfully broad question to ask.

 

K, Interesting!

 

I thought the example I gave with The Epicurean would have set a tone for the discussion as it is extremely rare and greatly valued by the cognoscenti (read: MF-like folks). Another example might be Escoffier's Le Guide Culinaire, albeit perhaps to a lesser extent.

 

Are there not any other similar culinary books (masterpieces) that anyone can suggest that might be fun to search for and/or acquire?

 

 

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I don't think it's so much a lack of interest as, c'mon, that is an awfully broad question to ask.

 

K, Interesting!

 

I thought the example I gave with The Epicurean would have set a tone for the discussion as it is extremely rare and greatly valued by the cognoscenti (read: MF-like folks). Another example might be Escoffier's Le Guide Culinaire, albeit perhaps to a lesser extent.

 

Are there not any other similar culinary books (masterpieces) that anyone can suggest that might be fun to search for and/or acquire?

 

There are 8 copies of The Epicurean on Bookfinder. The cheapest is $94 and described as "mint."

 

It's too broad. I'm personally a lot more interested in vintage cocktail and baking/dessert books. There are lots and lots of niches, just like any collectible category you can think of. Also, collectors aren't so great at handing out such information. A serious collector usually keeps her cards close to her chest. Most of us have been haunting thrift stores and antique malls for decades in order to learn a few things.

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I never saw this thread before today. And Kathy has a point. There are significant Burgundies but would someone who is only into Bourdeaux care? One person's "significant" cookbook might be pointless to someone else.

 

On my shelf, however, is the Ranhoffer.

 

Others that are significant for me which I have on my shelf include:

 

A Treasury of Great Recipes by Vincent Price

The Wines of Gala and Les Diners de Gala - Salvador Dali

The Pantropheon; A History of Food and its Preparation in Ancient Times - Alexis Soyer

The Hotel St. Francis Cook Book - Victor Hirtzler

The Physiology of Taste - Brillat-Savarin

Guide to Modern Cookery - Escoffier

The Art of Cookery Made Plain and Easy - Mrs. Glasse

The Horizon Cookbook - and Illustrated History of Eating and Drinking through the Ages - William Harlan Hale

Dictionary of Cuisine - Alexandre Dumas

La Cuisine de France - Mapie, the Countess de Talouse-Lautrec

Pates & Terrines - Frederich W. Ehlert, Edouard Lanque, and Michael Raffael (not that old but since out of print, very expensive and hard to find -- and BRILLIANT).

The Alice B. Toklas Cookbook

Medieval Arab Cookery - Rodinson, Arberry & Perry

 

Some original versions of Betty Crocker, McCalls, and Joy of Cooking (pre-1970!)

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Also, collectors aren't so great at handing out such information. A serious collector usually keeps her cards close to her chest. Most of us have been haunting thrift stores and antique malls for decades in order to learn a few things.

 

I disagree. Peter PMd me a week ago and I gave him a bunch of information -- as similar information had been given to me all those years ago when I started collecting (pre-Internet days). I have always found that most Antiquarian Book People are very giving of their time on titles and related topics and where to hunt for such things.

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There are 8 copies of The Epicurean on Bookfinder. The cheapest is $94 and described as "mint."

 

K, My guess is that listing is either already sold, is not really "mint", or is somehow being used as a bait and switch. That would be a real bargain for a "mint" copy of The Epicurean .

 

And, yes, it occurred to me that some people might not want to share their knowledge but I figured they would be a small minority.

 

Not a big deal, though! I was just curious and thought there might be some dialogue.

 

 

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What do you think it should cost? There are some that are in the mid 200's, but none higher.

 

I guess the level of help or secrecy depends on the collectible.

 

I think it's nice to get out there and comb the shops for a few years and find what you really, really love (and then look it up on Bookfinder to find a better price). :)

 

http://www.amazon.com/gp/offer-listing/B00...;condition=used

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I kind of like what's inside the book. Yes, of course condition matters when it comes to price.

 

What do you think a copy *should* cost? You seem to be arguing here that this book is more rare than it really is. I don't get it.

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