Paris: Capelle et Renand, 1808.
First edition. Engraved frontispiece and 16 plates (10 folding) by Jean-François Tourcaty. 384 pp., complete with half-title and Tables (pp. 357-384) missing in some copies. 1 vols. 8vo. (212 x 132 mm.). Pristine Copy, Uncut in Wrappers. Uncut in contemporary painted paper wrappers. Light toning at margins, else fine. In a custom black morocco-backed box. Cagle 233; Lilly Library, Une Affaire du Goût 133; Vicaire 427; Simon 805; Bitting 203. Provenance: Pierre Bergé (bookplate). Item #305730
A stunning uncut copy in wrappers of the first edition of this seminal guide to the art of entertaining by the great gourmand and father of food writing, Grimod de la Reynière (1758-1837). Manuel des Amphitryons includes sections on carving, menus, and dining etiquette, and is illustrated with a series of 16 plates showing the carving of meat, poultry, and fish. The work is indispensable, according to the author himself, for those wishing to eat well, and to show the world their ability to do so. Grimod sets the tone of his work in its opening sentence: "one can compare the Amphitryon who does not know how to carve nor to serve properly to a great collector of books who does not know how to read."
In addition to offering brief but essential instructions for carving, book two describes seasonal menus for gatherings of 15 to 60 guests, while the final section is a veritable conduct manual for both hosts and their guests, offering insights on invitations, table manners, wine, and the protocols of dining and dining out.
This volume appeared when Grimod was engaged in publishing the fifth year of his important “Almanach des Gourmands,” the world's first food journal, which he edited from 1803-1812.
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