Item #10205 Manuel des Amphitryons. Grimod de la Reyniere.
Manuel des Amphitryons
Manuel des Amphitryons
Manuel des Amphitryons

Manuel des Amphitryons

Paris, Capelle & Renand, 1808.
Second-hand hardcover

de la Reyniere, Grimod. Manuel des Amphitryons. [FIRST EDITION] Capelle & Renand: Paris, 1808. 8vo qtr bnd vellum, marbled bds. [Crahan bookplate]




DE LA REYNIERE, Grimod [Alexandre Balthazar 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 Elémens de Politesse gourmande. Ouvrage indispensable à tous ceux qui sont jaloux de faire bonne chère, et de la faire faire aux autres. Orné d'un grand nombre de Planches gravées en taille-douce.

Paris : Chez Capelle et Renand, Libraires - Commissionnaires, 1808. First Edition. 

Octavo (215x135mm) quarter bound vellum with red leather, gilt lettered spine label, marbled grey boards, marker ribbon, 384pp; A-Y⁸, [Z]⁴ Aa-Cc⁴. Frontispiece and sixteen out-of-text intaglio engraved illustrations of carving. Includes the errata, tables and indexes and advertisment often lacking.  In French.

Early twentieth-century rebind; bookplate of famous culinary collector Marcus Crahan to front paste down; catalogue entry to verso front free endpaper,  upper joint starting but firm; frontispiece fore edge closely trimmed with loss of caption; edges and boards worn, corners faintly bruised; faint occasional soiling, a few discrete paper repairs to page edges not affecting the text.

de la Reyniere is best known as the author of the world's first food and restaurant guide Almanach des Gourmands in Paris 1803-1812.  Buoyed with the success of his annual Almanach des Gourmands (in it's fifth year), de la Reyniere turned to other gastronomic projects: a monthly magazine Journal des Gourmands et des Belles (1806)(which he left the same year), a dictionary of gastronomy (unpublished) and the Manuel des Amphitryons (Handbook for Hosts).  Three parts in one, the first part of the Manuel is a treatise on carving all sorts of animals and contains all the engraved plates.  Bitting suggests that the plates, by engraver, Jean François Tourcaty (1763–1830) were copied from L'Art de trancher la Viande by Pierre Petit ca.1615.    Regardless of their origin, their relevance and usefulness to the reader belies the social importance of carving, in early nineteenth century France.  According to de la Reyniere "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." 

The second part of the Manuel is a series of menus for dinners for twelve to sixty guests composed of formal dishes of the Ancien Regime, and the third, a treatise on etiquette for gourmand hosts providing instruction on wines, table manners, conversation dining out and many other subjects.  

Considered by his biographer N Rival to be the best of de la Reyniere's works, the Manuel and his Almanachs have long been wrongly overshadowed in gastronomic history by Brillat-Savarin who published his Physiologie du Gout some 15 years later.  Brillat-Savarin himself said of Grimod's Almanach of 1804 "[a work] of the rarest merit in both style and content"

An important work in the gastronomic canon by an author recognised as the first of all gastronomic writers with excellent provenance.

§  Marcus Crahan (Crahan Collection #584 Sotheby's New York 10 October 1984; Crahan-Keck Day Collection #225 Sotheby's New York 25 November 1986)

§  Vicaire 427-8; Bitting p.203; Simon BG 805; Oberlé (Fastes) 135; Horn-Arndt 451; Cagle 233;

Item #10205

Price: $3,800.00 AUD

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