Paris, [L. Roulland for] M. Brunet 1692.
12mo. [xxi], [iii blank], 4, 267, , [4 blank]p. and SIX FOLDING ENGRAVED PLATES OF TABLE SETTINGS.
Contemporary sprinkled calf, spine and red morocco label gilt (crown and base neatly repaired), edges sprinkled red and brown.
First Edition, a classic for nearly a century. Audiger fixes a template of domestic economy and management of a grand household in late 17th-century France. He enumerates each office from doorkeeper, coachman and groom to governess, chamberlain and estate manager, specifying the duties of each (and wages for some). He discusses purchasing goods and dealing with merchants, codifies the reception and seating of visitors according to their rank, and calculates the average annual costs of operation — all based on his experience working for the Countess de Soissons (niece of Mazarin) and then the Colbert.
“CELEBRATED IN THE HISTORY OF GASTRONOMY” (Livres en bouche, tr.), the text reflects the fashion to simplify the service of soups, main dishes, roast meats and sweets and to integrate cheese into the desserts. This style of dining is illustrated in the six folding plates, which show the placement on the table of six, twelve, eighteen and twenty-four courses. Audiger was among the first to introduce the drinking of chocolate, tea and coffee to France and to promote iced foods and drinks and ice cream north of the Alps. In the final eighty pages he details the preparation of distilled liqueurs, spiced and herbed drinks, custards, powdered sugar, infused wines, syrups, jams and jellies.
Of considerable interest, his TWENTY-PAGE AUTOBIOGRAPHY recounts the long and arduous path to a royal privilege for his soft drink business through the creation of exotic beverages for high government ministers, top nobility and royalty for more than a decade. A good copy with all six of the often missing plates (one torn without loss).
¶Bitting, Gastronomic Bibliography 19; Livres en bouche. Cinq siècles d’art culinaire français 141; Harrison, Une Affaire de Goût 52 “great attention to serving the table”; Notaker, Printed Cookbooks in Europe, 1470-1700. A Bibliography 635.3 “an educated chef d’office”; Simon, Bibliotheca gastronomica 148; Vicaire, Bibliographie gastronomique 53 “indications précieuses”; Mueller, Bibliographie des Kakao 8; von Hünersdorff & Hasenkamp, Coffee: a Bibliography 67; Montandon, Bibliographie des traités de savoir-vivre I: 70.