A Paris, chez Paulus-Du-Mesnil, 1739.
2 volumes 12mo [165 x 95 mm] of : I/ (1) bl.l., viii pp., (2) ll., 456 pp., (12) ll., 8 folding plates; II/ (18) ll., 386 pp., (1) bl.l. Bound in full marbled calf, spines ribbed and gilt, red edges. Some waterstaining in the margins of a few ll. in the second volume not touching the text. Contemporary binding.
Very scarce first edition of the first treaty on gastronomy by Menon. Vicaire, 588.
This treatise was published anonymously, but the name of the author, Menon, appears in the privilege placed at the end of the first part: on August 26th 1738, Menon gave up this privilege to the widow of Prudhomme who would give it up to Michel-Etienne David and Pauls du Mesnil.
The 8 folding plates placed in the first part represent tables set for 24, 16, 50, 30, 14, 18, 20, and 80 place settings.
“No culinary author obtained more re-issues of his works. His works are indisputably those we consult the most”. (Michaud)
We know nothing about the life of Menon. “Marin had created a sophisticated cooking, intended for courteous suppers, for royal receptions, Cécile Eluard says. Menon is going to give a book of practical recipes, easy to execute, and to pursue the effort of simplification begun by Nicolas de Bonnefons in the 17th century. That’s how he became successful ”.
He is also the author of two treaties for the practitioners and of an important collection, Les Soupers de la Cour, which owes to the cook Marin a lot, even if Menon does not admit it. Guégan finds Menon’s cooking common; he even picked out some recipes as bad as macaronis having to be cooked in some fat broth during hours, until it thickens and until there is no more liquid! On the other hand, he goes into ecstasies over his recipes of pastries which are among the most remarkable of the 18th century.
In the foreword, Menon explains his purpose: “Butlers will find in the beginning of the first volume Menus for each month of the year; they will learn seasonal stews, and what they have to order; they will find in this Treatise, by means of the alphabetical table, all the stews they wish, the way of making them, and the ingredients they have to give to the cook ”.
A beautiful copy preserved in its decorated contemporary calf binding.
We could locate only 3 copies among French public Institutions: Grenoble, Aix-en-Provence and Toulouse.