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Ross, David Lincoln. “Books served rare,” in Food Arts, September 2007, pp. 45-48.

Books Served Rare

Interest in antiquarian culinary titles is rising faster than one of Antonin Carême’s epic soufflés. Ever since Platina published the first cookbook in 1473 in Rome, gastronomes and enophiles as well as garden variety bookworms have salivated over the finest examples of the printer’s art. Today culinary bibliomaniacs – from award-wining chefs and wealthy private collectors to educational institutions and national libraries – have more than half a millennium’s worth of publishing output to bid on at auction or acquire from rare book dealers. In fact, all things gastronomic are being collected at unprecedented levels of passion and discernment.

As Joel Silver, curator of books at the Lilly Library at Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana, and one of the key figures in building on the university’s famed Gernon collection of early European cookbooks, observes: “Over the past two decades, there’s been a pronounced increase in interest in our country’s social history, including cooking and entertaining, and many authors in the course of their researches have rediscovered the early 18th and 19th century pioneers of these so-called good housekeeping types of books.” But beyond that, Silver adds, “We have all seen the explosion in the public’s interest in restaurants and cuisines of all types, food and wine magazines, cooking techniques and traditions, cooking shows, cookbooks, and celebrity chefs – and all these trends have stimulated an interest in and passion for food and wine history.”

Nobody personifies this trend better than Ben Kinmont, a specialist in culinary- and wine-related topics who is considered by some to be the leading rare book dealer in the United States in this narrow but growing field. Having first learned the antiquarian book trade with New York dealer Jonathan Hill, an internationally respected seller of rare scientific works, Kinmont embarked on his solo career in 1998. Now based in his home in Sebastopol, California, Kinmont has managed to bring that same level of professionalism to his chosen field – gastronomy.

A California native whose mother wrote a cookbook for the Sierra Club in the early 1970s, Kinmont says he naturally gravitated to the culinary field, where he perceived the market for antiquarian cookbooks to be underdeveloped. “Some book dealers handled gastronomy from 1850 to 1950,” he explains, “but there was really nobody in the U.S. concentrating on antiquarian books dating earlier than 1850.”

Since then, his scholarly, beautifully produced catalogs, studded with engagingly written entries about each rare volume listed for sale, have won him respect in gastronomic circles and beyond, eliciting praise from sources as diverse as art critic Robert Hughes, who wrote about Kinmont for the Wall Street Journal, to Mark Dimunation, chief of rare book and special collections at the Library of Congress and one of Kinmont’s earliest clients.

Thanks to his professional training in the book field, says Dimunation, Kinmont – as opposed to “a generalist antiquarian bookseller” – has an uncommon ability to “amplify and better explain a book’s significance” within a larger culinary as well as historical context.

Kinmont’s highly readable, entertainingly descriptive style pervades his catalogues, from his first up to the present No. 11, which was released this past spring. Starting with Catalog 10, cookbook entries are accompanied by recipes from that work, from “Turkey with Truffles” in Antoine Beauvilliers’ 1814 L’Art de Cuisinier, to a potent English “cyder”-based punch recipe inexplicable dubbed “An American Season Ticket” found in a Rick Pettit manuscript circa 1890….

Given the growing appreciation for rare cookbooks in excellent condition, prices have accelerated. Offering an example, Kinmont cites the rapid price appreciation of Robert May’s The Accomplisht Cook, published in London in 1660, which came up for auction in 1999 and once again in 2006. At the 1999 auction, is sold at Sotheby’s for $2,310; only seven years later this same book almost quadrupled in price, going for $8,874 at an auction conducted by Dominic Winter. In his latest catalogue many of Kinmont’s books head will into the four figures, with a few rising above the $10.000 mark….

And what of the future? Many antiquarian book dealers, scholars, academics, rare book librarians, and chefs would agree with the assessment of Indiana University’s Silver, yet another Kinmont client: “Given the present interest in what we eat and drink and what we ate and imbibed in the past, I think the interest in these gastronomic topics will only grow.”

-- David Lincoln Ross

Cothenet, Eric. “A New bibliography of perfume books,” in Private Library, 5th Series, vol. 5:4, 2002, pp. 179-95.

A New Bibliography of Perfume Books

'We are aware that much has been written on the subject of Perfumery, and large works on the subject are not at all uncommon...' This is how the preface to the American Perfumer's Manual starts, written and published anonymously in 1876. Well, if you ever have tried to collect perfume books, you might have found it very easy at the beginning, but have soon discovered one important obstacle to this honest occupation: the lack of good bibliographies.

The most recognized example has been published in the Journal de la Parfumerie by C. J. Wiggishoff, and its exact title is: 'Essai de bibliographie des parfums et des cosmétiques'. If this was just a 'trial run', this 'essai' was indeed a masterpiece, as nobody managed to publish a better one later — I am aware of only one other specialized bibliography which is part of the too little known Pays des Aromates by the Count Robert de Montesquiou, published in 1900. Less descriptive than a full bibliography, this catalogue of the personal collection of V. Klotz, chief perfumer of the Pinaud House, rapidly lists and describes 111 items, but without giving any precise detail.

For amateurs (like me...), here is now good news: I consider Ben Kinmont's catalogue 'Number 5' (April 2002, New York) as the third and maybe the best bibliography on perfume books.

Ben Kinmont is known mostly for his catalogues on gastronomy ('cookery, nutrition, domestic economy, drinking and the history of taste', as he would describe it), and this diligent work has led him to devote his catalogue 'Number 5' (surprising coincidence, isn't it?) to 'scents, cosmetics, and beauty in the history of chemistry, technology, medicine and women'.

All 104 items listed in this catalogue are of an exceptional quality: three quarters of them are 'first editions', the remainder being second or third editions at the most; this level of quality is extremely rare, when you take into account that only fifteen of the books were printed after 1900. Kinmont's catalogue registers six books and manuscripts from the sixteenth century, eleven from the seventeenth century, twenty-two form the eighteenth and the majority (50 out of 104) from the nineteenth century, linking it to the development of chemistry in the history of perfume.

Prices of the recorded books therefore are relatively high: the average is approximately $1,700 but eight books are valued at over $5,000 each. We have very little basis for comparison, since few auctions include this category of books. The only one which can be found regularly is Rimmel's Book of Perfume, generally sold in its 1870 French edition: offered in June 1990 for the equivalent of €533 in a perfume bottles auction (Corbeil-Essonnes), it was available in June 2001 for €320 and€335 (two different copies) in the excellent Modes et Parfums catalogue form the Librairie Chrétien in Paris. Its last recent presence in an auction was in May 2002 (Nantes) at the price of €600. Ben Kinmont offers his copy of the French edition (but with an 'hommage respectueux de l'auteur' written by E. Rimmel himself) at $900 and the first English edition (1865) at $600.

Let me refer to Rimmel's Book of Perfumes as one example of the quality of descriptions given by Ben Kinmont in his catalogue. The English 1865 edition is described as: '8vo. Frontispiece, twelve plates (one of which is in color), and numerous illustrations in the text. xx, 266 pp. Original gilt-stamped purple cloth, spine sunned, slight wear overall, all edges gilt'. The French edition is listed as: 'Ornate cloth binding, stamped in gilt, blind, blue, and red, upper joint worn, edges gilt, all of the original tissue guards retained, clean and crisp throughout'. As another example, let me quote the description of item 69, the 1672 edition of Pellegrini's collection of perfumes and cosmetic recipes: 'Contemporary red morocco, richly gilt, gaufered gilt edges, marbled pastedowns, light marginal dampstaining in the preliminary and final leaves, occasional spotting'.

In addition to these precise and often poetic description, Kinmont generally indicates the origin or the history of the book (see item 62: 'the work is based on experiences had by Father Maurice de Toulon (d. 1668) during the plague in Genoa in 1656-57'), or a short biography of its author, when necessary (see item 103:

Wedel (1645-1721) was a professor of anatomy, surgery, botany and theoretical medicine at the University of Jena. He 'was a remarkably prolific author but it was primarily teaching at one of Germany's largest universities that he influenced a whole generation of physicians, including Hoffmann and Stahl.' - D.S.B., XIV, p 212.

Furthermore, what is most precious for all book lovers, Kinmont uses all means of location for his listed books: item 1 is 'not in OCLC, Montesquiou, or Wiggishoff'; for item 2, 'OCLC lists two locations only: the National Library of Medicine and Colonial Williamsburg; Wiggishoff p. 21. Not in Montesquiou, Pays des Aromates, who does list the Paris edition of the same year; etc. Kinmont uses mostly OCLC, NUC, ESTC and RLIN but often adds some indications emanating from famous bibliographies such as Oberlé (item 84), Vicaire (item 30) or Fergusson (item 11). Future generations of perfume book collectors will find such detailed work invaluable.

Nevertheless, it is important to be objective and to indicate to our readers the main weakness of this catalogue: too many items are not books! From numbers 72 to 80, a collection of perfume advertisements, perfume price lists, and perfume sachets may be very interesting for collectors, but is a little too far from our favourite subject. Here we discover that most frustrating part of loving perfumes: it is an endless world, and links between perfume and plants, perfume and fashion, perfume and glass bottles, perfume and chemicals, or perfume and seduction are so numerous, that it is almost impossible to establish real borders. Ben Kinmont has chosen to focus on 'scents, cosmetics and beauty in the history of chemistry, technology, medicine and women', and nobody will blame him for his intrusion in the real life of perfume houses: his item 76 (c. 1790 - c. 1862 'a lovely small collection of perfume makers' calling cards, each beautifully illustrated and suitable for framing') is so amazing.

The second most expensive book of this catalogue therefore (valued at $10,000) is a 'perfume manufacturers' sample book of original photographs of perfume bottles and mounted chromolithographed labels'. This unique object (item 81) is absolutely wonderful, and I do not doubt that many collectors have dreamed of including it in their passionate collection - but I would rather favor the perfume books, and rediscover with you, what I consider to be: 'the 15 best books ever published on perfume'.

Let's start with 'the First Book on Perfume', as Kinmont claims: item no. 98, Theophrastus, Libellus de Odoribus (Paris, 1556). This first separate edition is a Latin translation from Adrien Turnèbe (1512-1565) and OCLC records only three locations for this exceptional masterpiece, but both will have most certainly been sold, by the time you read this article.

However, the Theophrastus is not the oldest edition you will find in the Kinmont catalogue, since item 51 is dated from 1531. It is not a 'first edition', but 'the extremely rare Second Edition of Le Fournier's early guide to beauty (first edition, Paris: 1530) and possibly the only known copy', entitled La Decoratio[n] dHumaine Nature, et a Ornement des Dames (Lyon, 1531). Kinmont mentions a reprint, which appeared in 1992, but this version (Klinsieck) is based on the 1541 edition (Lyon), which the 'Bibliothèque Interuniversitaire de Pharmacie' takes for the original one. (Plate 8, page 194.)

Now, I would like to draw the attention of our readers to a group of three splendid Italian books, the most famous of which is item 91: G. V. Roseto, Notandissimi Secreti de l'Arte Profumatoria, for which Kinmont details the second edition (first edition: 1555), published in Rampazetto, in 1560. I would add to the comments included in the catalogue (seven locations recorded by OCLC, recorded in Wiggishoff and not in Montesquiou) that a reprint was published in 1973, and again in 1992 by Neri Pozza, in Vicenza. This book is particularly interesting because it does not only comprise secret perfume ingredients but also 'make-up to whiten a woman's complexion', etc. At that time hygiene, the art of cosmetics and perfumery had no borders, and 'in a time when man seemed capable of achieving the noblest endeavors, ... study and care of his body and a frank delight in adorning it' was 'one of his chief pastimes'. This comment is quoted by Kinmont from The History of Perfume (F. Kennet, 1975), writing about our next favourite: item 61, G. Marinello's Gli Ornamenti delle Donne Tratti dalle Scritture d'una Reina Greca. This wonderful first edition was published by Francesco de' Franceschi, in Venice in 1562. Recorded by Montesquiou and Wiggishoff, located in six different places by OCLC, this piece of work has never been seen (as far as I know) in any auction or any other catalogue in France. The third Italian book on perfume, which for me belongs to the category of the 'Top 15' is item 69, from Pellegrini, Secreti Nobilissimi dell'Are Profumatoria, about which we have already detailed the catalogue description (see illustration above, page 180). I would just like to point out that, on top of this rare 1672 edition, Kinmont also offers a copy of the second edition (1678), issued in Venice by S. Curti (the first one being printed in Bologna by Recaldini).

A few years later, at the end of the seventeenth century when Italy had lost its primacy in perfume production, France became the country of excellence for perfume books. The first major book issued at that time in France is Simon Barbe's famous work, item 2, Le Parfumeur François.

Kinmont's catalogue offers three editions of this 'classical' piece of work: the first edition for Thomas Amaulry in Lyon (1963), the third edition issued by Paul Marret in Amsterdam (1696, item 3) and the first English edition, issued by Buckley in London (1696, item 4). A Paris edition is 'Extremely rare in the market; in fact, we waited to issue the current perfume catalogue until we had found a copy' (Kinmont, p. 8). His 'Perfume N° 5' was issued on 22 April 2002 (1200 copies printed by the Antinomian Press) and, to my knowledge, the only other appearance of Simon Barbe's original edition was in September 2001, in a small catalogue from a very reputable bookseller in 'Les Arcs' (any other information will be welcome).

The case of Kinmont's item 5 is even more interesting, since 'the work by Simon Barbe... In 1693, he issued a classic of perfumery Le Parfumeur François; in 1699 his second book appeared Le Parfumeur Royal, which was written more for the trade and less directed to the court and the gentry'. Kinmont offers the edition of 1761 (Paris: Saugrain), 'nouvelle e'dition, revue, corrigée et considérablement augmentée', but still mentions the name of S. Barbe with a questionmark. This edition has already been found in 2001, in the small catalogue mentioned above, but the 1699 edition was also available in the delightful catalogue Modes et Parfums from Librairie Chrétien (Summer 2001), described as 'premiére èdition parisienne trés augmentée'. We should also mention the 1992 reprint (Bibliothèque Interuniversitaire de Paris), and can conclude from all these sources that this excellent book is indeed the work of Simon Barbe.

Item 49 Abdeker ou l'Art de Conserver la Beauté (1754) is 'the very rare FIRST EDITION of Le Camus'... guide to beauty ... The date 1168 on the imprint refers to the Islamic calendar'. (Plate 5, opposite.) This copy is 'the first of several editions with translations appearing in English (1754) and Italian (1787) as well'. (Wiggishoff lists a 'nouvelle edition', Paris, 1763.) In addition to this, with his item 50, Kinmont offers an exceptional Italian edition (not recorded?), for which NUC and OCLC list only one location (NN) but for a different edition of the same year (Venice: Fomaleoni).

One year later, in 1755, the first edition of item 84 from Polycarpe Poncelet, Chimie du Gout et de l'Odorat was published in Paris (Le Mercier). This edition has be recorded in many bibliographies; our readers may refer to: 'Cole, p. 433; Ferguson I, 134; Montesquiou, no. 86; Mueller p 169; Oberlé 1088; Poggendorff II, col. 496; Simon Gastronomica 1212; Vicaire col. 171; Wiggishoff p. 22'. Many editions of this 'popular work on the distillation of liquors and perfumes' have ben printed from which Kinmont's catalogue offers: item 85, second edition (Paris: Pissot, 1761); item 86, third edition (Paris: pissot, 1766); item 87, first Italian edition (Florence: Bonducciana, 1792) and item 88, a very much expanded edition (Paris: Delalain, An VIII, 1799/1800). I can only add that, here again, a reprint has been published in 1992 by the B.I.P.

Poncelet was not the only one in his time to write on 'perfume and various cosmetics', and to explain the difference between 'perfumes to be evaporated in a room versus those to be burned'. In 1753 Dejean's first study on distillation appeared, soon to be followed by the second edition in 1759 of Traité Raisonné de la Distillation (item 26). But the author (Dejean? Hornot? see hereafter) became famous with the first edition in 1764 (Paris: Nyon, Guillyn & Saugrain) of Traité de Odeurs, Suite du Traité de la Distillaiton (item 27).

Kinmont also offers the third edition (item 28, 1788, Paris: Didot) but does not mention the date of the second one: 1777 (Paris: Bailly). 'There is a long-standing debate as to the authorship', writes Kinmont, but we all now follow the recommendations of Duveen and Ferchl who proposed the paternity of Ferdinand Dejean for these books, 'a chemist who died in Vienna in 1797 [born in Bonn in 1728] and was of Huguenot origin'.

P. J. Buc'hoz was a physician to King Stanislas of Poland, and to the Count d'Artois. His books on tobacco (e.g. Différentes Manières d'Appréter le Tabac) are wanted by specialists, and his manuals on the use of botanicals are much better known than his manuals on the use of botanicals are much better known than his Histoire Naturelle de la Lorraine or Histoire Naturelle de la France. In 1778, G. de Bure published the catalogue of Buc'hoz's library, 'one of the most beautiful ever composed', but Buc'hoz wrote up until his death in 1807 (some editions have been issued 'chez la dame Buc'hoz', at his wifes home). With item 12, Kinmont offers the very first French edition of Toilette de Flore (Paris: Valade, 1771), but also with item 13 an English edition from 1787, knowing however that 'Several English editions appeared beginning in 1772'.

We can end this list of famous French perfume books of the eighteenth century with the publication early in the nineteenth century, in 1809, of the first edition (item 7) of C. F. Bertrand's Le Parfumeur Impérial. Monglond (VIII, 105) suggests that the author of César Birotteau (H. de Balzac himself) 'could have found in this unknown book useful information' and Kinmont quotes the following comment from Morris (Fragrance, p. 173): 'There was no longer a royal perfumer, but the actual substance of Bertrand's book contained material similar to that discussed by eighteenth-century handbooks'. No other edition but this has been recorded.

There were no longer royal or imperial perfumers, and the art of perfumery was more and more linked to medical surveys on the 'sense of smell'. A new word appeared: Osphrésiologie (item 19, Paris: Méquignon-Marvis, 1821), and J. J. Cloquet (1787-1840) issued 'This enormous, sometimes excessive, and much-pillaged compilation' (A. Corbin). (Plate 7, opposite.) Kinmont has been exceptionally lucky to find a copy of this book (vi + 758 pages) since no other catalogue I know has been able to locate this one and only edition. G. Morton calls it 'an exhaustive work', Sagarin 'the classic in the medical literature'. It is cited as authoritative on my phases of the problem of this day, and A. Corbin refers to it as 'the reference work until the beginning of the twentieth-century'. To understand better the importance of H. Cloquet's work, I cannot resist the urge to advise our readers to discover A. Corbins magnificent study The Foul and the Fragrant (in French: Le Miasme et la Jonquille), sub-titled: 'Odor and the French social imagination' (issued in 1982 in Paris, and in 1986 in English by Harvard University Press).

The second key perfume book of the nineteenth century is G. W. S. Piesse's The art of Perfumery (item 82, London: Longman, Brown, Green and Longmans, 1855), 'The FIRST EDITION of Piesse's popular work on perfume'. Many editions of this book have been printed (1862, 1879, 1891 in London, 1865, 1877 in Paris, but also in Germany and in America), and the success of Piesse's other masterpieces has also been undisputed: see item 83, Chimie des parfums (Paris: Libr. Baillière) or Histoire des parfums (not included in Kinmont's catalogue).

We can now end our list of the 'Top 15' best perfume books with the one already described at the beginning of this article: Rimmel's The Book of Perfumes (items 89 and 90). This fine book can be easily found in specialized auctions (see Drouot, Nov. 1987 or April 1988; Chrétien's catalogues: Sept. 1999 or June 2001; Nantes, May 2002; etc.) and I would recommend starting your perfume book collection with this milestone.

To conclude, we should come back to Ben Kinmont's catalogue and ask ourselves whether, despite its omissions, we now have the 'ultimate' bibliography on perfume books. I would suggest that it is almost perfect, and I have been working hard to find what could be missing in this catalogue that I so admire. Some amateurs will take the challenge to find the very first edition (1753) of Dejean's Traité de la distillation or, even better, the 1530 first edition of Le Founier's guide to beauty (of which the second edition of 1531 is shown opposite). But I would prefer to find the 1740 edition (published in Rouen) of Nicolas Le Cat's Traité des Sens; I have personally only the 1744 Amsterdam edition.

And, last but not least, a small weakness of Kinmont's 'Number 5' is his being unable to offer anything at all by Jean Liebaut: his Trois Livres de l'Embellissement et Ornement du Corps Humain, first issued by Jacques du Puys in Paris in 1582, then in Lyon (Benoist Rigaud) in 1595 is one of the most beautiful books ever printed on cosmetics and perfumes from the Renaissance. My Ben Kinmont forgive me: we are waiting for his new catalogue on perfume books, and perhaps, one day, an even more formal bibliography.

-- Eric Cothenet

Hughes, Robert J. “Cooking into the past,” in the Wall Street Journal, December 31, 1999, p. w12.

Cooking into the Past

Mrs. Isabella Beeton was the Martha Stewart of her day, and her day was Victorian England. Author of "The Book of Household Management," she gave brides tips on boiling suet pudding and avoiding the unfortunate "family discord" that arises from "badly cooked dinners." Mrs. Beeton's 19th-century bestseller sold for a few sixpence in 1861, a few hundred dollars earlier this decade — and $2,000 at auction last year.

That might seem a lot to pay for cleaning hints and recipes for pheasant, but it isn't uncommon anymore. Antique cookbooks are soaring in value, perhaps the hottest sector in the rare-book field. And it's all because of a sea change in how academics study history.

For decades, History was concerned with major events and political movements; now it is as concerned with details of everyday life, how people lived — and what they ate. As a result, academics are viewing ratty old cookbooks as important source documents. Even outside the ivory tower, the success of the Food Network and the celebrity status that many chefs now achieve has gotten Americans more interested in cooking….

There may even be a few valuable antiques on your own shelves: Many people have a copy of a revised edition of "The Joy of Cooking”….The first edition by the small press is now extremely rare, and can fetch as much as $3,000... "There's something particularly rich about antique old food books," says Ben Kinmont, an antiquarian-cookbook dealer based in New York. "They can be read in many ways to unlock a particular time, or an approach to eating. Unlike other fields such as astronomy or medicine, with a cookbook you can recreate what you read in your kitchen. You can achieve a kind of intimacy with the past."

A Holy Grail for cookbook collectors is what may be the first printed cookbook, by Bartolomeo Platina, from 1498. It features recipes for pasta and directions for slicing open sturgeon to get caviar; it has changed hands for as much as $30,000. At even more lofty levels, book dealer Mr. Kinmont is offering a bread-baking manuscript from 14th-century Italy for more than double that…”

-- Robert J. Hughes

True, Margo. “A Menu of food books,” in Saveur Magazine, December, 1999, no. 39, pp. 32-33.

A Menu of Food Books

Last July, a small, elegant catalogue of rare books appeared. Simply titled Gastronomy, it was the first collection by a 35-year-old antiquarian book dealer and artist named Ben Kinmont. Within three weeks, 60 of its 100 titles — at prices ranging from $15 to $30,000 — had been snapped up by booksellers, private buyers, and libraries. What accounts for Kinmont's success? To begin with, his collection offers a number of particularly interesting works — mostly first editions, with a few very old ones (the earliest, Hec Sunt Statuta Uictualium, a Milanes book on bread statutes and ordinances, dates back to 1480; De Re Cibaria, a treatise on hundreds of ingredients from camel to chickpeas, is from 1560), as well as classics such as Brillat Savarin's Physiologie du Goût and intriguing stuff like a 1627 Venetian monograph on salads; an 1827 history of New York City's marketplaces by a butcher from the city's Jefferson Market; and The House Servant's Directory (1827), the first cookbook by an African-American.

Then there's the appeal of the catalogue itself, a lovely little book with a deep rose cover, cream-colored pages, delicate reproductions of engravings, and color photographs. The descriptions of the books are wonderful. In graceful, amiable prose, Kinmont details each book's appearance (its gilt lettering, its worn but strong joints), points out fascinating facts about its historical context or author, and includes scrupulous bibliographical references establishing the works pedigree and rarity.

Though he's surrounded by beautiful old books, Kinmont won't keep them himself. "My favorite part of the job," he says, "is finding a great book, and then matching it with the right customer." Kinmont has only about fifty copies of his first catalogue left, and doesn't plan a reprint — so you could say that he has produced a rare book himself.”

—Margo True

Anon. News and comment, in the Book Collector, Winter 1999, p. 585.

News and Comment

There is only one first catalogue, but a very accomplished one, 'Gastronomy' from Ben Kinmont….This begins with the first edition of The Accomplish'd Housewife 1736, confidently described as 'the better of two known copies', the other being at Columbia University Teacher's College. There too is Cotta's Trenchier-Buch 1766, Brillat-Savarin Physiologie du Gout 1826, uncut and the Abbey copy of Bruyerin De Re Cibaria 1560 in a contemporary German blind-stamped tawed hide. Even these pale before the clou of the catalogue, the C.S. Ascherson-André Simon copy of the first printed cookery book, Platina De Honesta Voluptate 1498, with the first printed book on salad, Massonio’s Archidipno, overo dell' Insalata 1627 and the primary tract on spices, Ramingen’s Von den Aromaten und wolschmäckenden, ganzkrefftigen, und hailsamen Speceryen 1580. There were early editions of the two great cookery books of the eighteenth century, Menon La Cuisinière Bourgeoise 1756 and Raffald The Experienced English Housekeeper 1771, with Petronio Del Viver delli Romani 1592, and an uncut copy of Parmentier Le Parfait Boulanger 1778. A wide range of American books included the first by an African American, Roberts The House Servant's Directory 1827, and there was also a charming set of twenty-four little volumes of the Bibliothèque La Maitresse de la Maison 1852. This was no beginner's collection, but one that must have been long maturing. We shall look forward to a second Kinmont catalogue.

-- Anon.

Ben Kinmont Bookseller684 North Main Street, Sebastopol, CA 95472t  707 829 8715m  917 669