LE LIVRE DE CUISINE, by Jules Gouffe - 1867 [1st Ed]


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Le Livre de Cuisine: Comprenant La Cuisine De Ménage Et La Grande Cuisine 

by Jules Gouffé

illustrated by Marcel Ronjat

Translation: The Cookbook: Including The Household Kitchen and The Grande Kitchen 

First edition of this deeply influential cookbook is lavishly illustrated with engravings and color plates. Paris: Librairie de L. Hachette Et C, 1867.

Hardback is overall in VERY GOOD- condition.

  • Hardback has been well-kept and well-used, showing some notable wear to covers, a gently aged interior, and some professional repair. 
  • Blind-tooled boards show some light wear and aging overall, with some rough corners and spine end.
  • Corners are rough, with exposed board at head corners. Foot corners are significantly chipped with scraping that extends partway into text block. (See photos)
  • Spine ends exhibit hard wear at foot with expected fraying, some cracking at shoulders, and some scuffing to head end. (See photos)
  • Binding is secure, and was professionally rebacked many years ago - Spine was replaced, keeping original title block with gilt text. (See photos)
  • Front and back hinges are cracked along length, yet secure - likely part of professional rebacking.
  • Satin voile endpapers show similar marginal toning and smudges/scuffing near hinge and across width near head.
  • Front free endpaper has former owner's signature, with a little pencil on a back fep. (See photo)
  • Colorful frontispiece is present and toned, with intact tissue guard.
  • Illustrations are vibrant and intact, both full color plates and in-line engravings.
  • Plates retain their tissue guards, many still white and unblemished. Some exhibit scattered foxing, and at least one has some tearing. (See photos)
  • Paper for annotated color plates is more severely toned, and some scattered marginal foxing can be seen.
  • Interior is gently age-toned, with scattered light-to-moderate foxing and the occasional smudge. Some pages are remarkably free of signs of aging.
  • A pervasive and progressive top marginal damp stain can be seen on pages 581-757. Size varies from .25" x 1" to 1.25" x 2.25" at its largest. (See photo for average size and color)
  • Light page damage can be seen near/on dampstain on pages 641-652.
  • Inside pages are free of writing and intentional marks. 
  • Text block edges are bright AEG with expected light overall wear and dusting.
  • Head exhibits more dusting, foot has harsh wear lines near spine, fore edge has light wear and a horizontal stain, with gilt scuffed and pages scraped at foot corners near cover damage. (See photos) 
  • CR2020.1022

826 pages. 7.5 x 10.5 inches.

Handsome nineteenth century book features a rounded spine and bright gilt on all page edges. Spine was expertly replaced some time past, retaining original title plate. Illustration plates are present, with intact tissue guards.

This book was written for both beginning and professional chefs, containing roughly 500 recipes, illustrated with inline B&W drawings and full color plates. Index and illustration list at end. The first section is dedicated to household cooking, dealing with simple cookery and offering recipes anyone can attempt. In the second section on haute cuisine the author focuses on the developments and finer details of cooking techniques.

For the author, the fundamental difference between his book and all previous cookbooks was the inclusion of quantities and cooking times for each recipe, allowing readers to replicate his recipes with precision. Earlier cook books expect readers to guess measurements and timing. This seminal example changed the way recipes were presented, and his example has been followed since then. 

By dividing his work into two sections--the Cuisine de Ménage and the Grande Cuisine--Gouffé establishes some fundamental principles of the culinary art. "In the introduction to the second part, when he explains what great cuisine means to him, Gouffé makes a point of saying that all 'those who expect grande cuisine to be bizarre, pretentious or strange will be disappointed. It is not his wont to pave the way to error and ambitious cheating of which the culinary practice is all too often infested'." 

This book is historically interesting for including information on kitchen utensils used in the second half of the 19th century. [Telecharger Magazine] 

Precise recipes and clear techniques likely contributed to this being one of the most popular books of the late 19th C. It is also valued for the numerous illustrations and full color plates, setting precedents and inspiring chefs for over 150 years.

"This book contains the fascinating illustrations by artist Marcel Ronjat. The engravings and marvelous still life paintings were intended to describe how some of the recipes presented in the book actually looked when prepared. These images evoke a cuisine that is no longer familiar to us and seems to come from a distant past but in 1867, it marked an important turning point in the development of the culinary art.” [Fine Dining Lovers]

Jules Gouffé (1807-1877) was known as the “apostle of decorative cooking.” He was a French chef and patissier who had a profound influence on French cooking, and is held in high esteem by many famous chefs, past and present. He is also referenced by researchers in molecular gastronomy. After a remarkable and public career in cooking and baking, he stepped away from public life and wrote several famous and impactful books on cooking.  [Wikipedia]

EDITION POINTS: First Edition in the original French.

AS IS! Please see photos. More photos available upon request.

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