1753 The Lady's Companion... Three Thousand Different Receipts (recipes)...of Cookery. J. Hodges, R. Baldwin, London.


The 1753, sixth edition, "with large additions", of The Lady's Companion, Containing Upwards of Three Thousand recipes. For the time-period, the title page states "Four Times the Quantity of any Book of this Sort".

This was a popular 18th century recipe book, 1st printed in 1737 as The Whole Duty of Women, but the title revised for the 1740 2nd addition, and the moralizing sections deleted.

The recipe's include soups, dressing meats, puddings, pastries, pies, pickling, jellies, confections, beer, ales, wines, "catchup", etc..

Also with some instructions on buying at market, foods to serve at certain times of the year, etc.

Illustrations include plates on the preparation of meats, a frontis showing a kitchen, and a series of fold-outs showing pastry decorations.

This copy shows some wear of time, but does not have the damage common to the kitchen (thumbing, stains, etc.). The provenance (ex libris plate and inscription) is Sir Henry M Vavasour, of Melbourne Hall.

Physical Attributes -

Both volumes measure approx. 17.5 x 10 x 3 cm, signed in 12. Leather bindings, respined; old spine labels re-laid. Edges sprinkled with red. Illustrated with 10 illustrations of meat preparation, one frontis, and four double-sided fold-outs (with 15 numbered designs).

Pages: v1 - 413, (1), index - xv, blank leaf. v2 - frontis leaf, 414, index - xviii, blank leaf.

Collation: V1 - A1, B1-T12 (T12 blank). V2 - A1, S12, T8 (T8 blank).

Scarcity -

English Short Title Catalogue entry number N19122; 3 copies in British libraries, one in Europe, and 6 copies in American libraries including Boston Public, Harvard Radcliffe, Huntington Library and Art Gallery, Rutgers, US Library of Congress (LOC) and U of C San Diego.

The LOC copy is held as a family book of George Washington, at the Fred W. Smith Library, Mount Vernon (Library of Congress call number TX705.L27 1753).

Condition -

See pictures. Respined, old labels laid over (labels still with cracking from before repair). Board edges and corners worn, and some crazing to board leather; pasteboard visible at corners. No top endband, bottom endband with a little damage v1. Ex libris inscription and bookseller notes on v1 pastedown, bookplate on v2 pastedown (HM Vavasour Melbourne Hall). Hinges repaired (old repairs, still a little cracking). Erased bookseller notes on blank endpaper v1. Chipping at bottom corner endpaper and title page v1.

Toning and occasional fox spot to paper throughout both volumes. Occasional thumb, spot and dog-eared page. Small (food?) remnant on 223. Ink smudge 245. Moisture spot top margin 403-408. A little separation at gutter between 412 and 413. Small stain at upper gutter of v2 frontis. Moisture mark right at bottom edge v2, no text affected. Tiny worm tracks at bottom margin v2. 1st gathering v2 feels a little shaken but is holding. Plates mid-book v2 proud, causing a little stress on new spine (and stressed old spine since the label is cracked). At v2 rear index some pages cracked at gutter at bottom of leaves (T3 to T12). Index page T5 has a 3" tear. Rear hinge v2 cracked.

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