(5) ff., portrait and 27 plates engraved on copper, 436 ff. figured, (8) ff. n. ch.
Second edition, very rare, dated on the colophon, printed in italics, of one of the most important illustrated books on cooking during the Renaissance. It is illustrated with the same plates as the original edition, which appeared at the same time (undated, the original edition has a different collation; according to Mortimer (II, 467), it is attributed to the same printer, and is earlier than this dated one).
These two first editions are the only ones decorated with copper engravings: all the later editions are decorated with woodcuts.
Scappi was in the service of the "very political" cardinal Lorenzo Campaggi (1471-1539) and organized in 1536 a sumptuous banquet for Charles V; then he was private cook, from about 1550 to 1572, for popes Julius III, Paul IV and Pius V.
In this work in six books, the author explains how to choose the best products (I), gives recipes for meat and poultry (II), fish (III), lists the tools to take to cook for a Prince, and the menus according to the calendar (IV), describes various kinds of pasta (V), and finally describes recipes for soups, pies, fruits ... for the sick (VI).
It is decorated with a beautiful portrait of the author and 27 beautiful plates (the last one on a double page), very carefully printed in this copy, showing the instruments of the cook; the beautiful double plate shows the Banquet served to the cardinals gathered in conclave to choose a new pope.
The text is of great interest: in addition to the purely gastronomic aspect, it is fascinating for the study of society and private life in the 16th century, underlining the evolution of morals and taste, or tackling subjects that were little dealt with at the time, such as health regimes (Scappi is undoubtedly one of the first cooks to have published a treatise on dietetics, a field that was previously reserved for scholars) or domestic architecture. On this subject, Oberlé specifies that "chapter 2 of the first book, entitled "Del sito, forma, e disegno d'una cucina, et ordine delle masseritie di questo ufficio" treats with great precision the plans, the materials of construction. One would look in vain elsewhere for so much information on this subject at that time".
Stains, small freckles and wetness, not serious. Small restoration to one plate.
Fondation B.IN.G., 1779 - Vicaire, 771 - Bitting, 419 - Simon, 1356 - Oberlé, Fastes, 75, 76 : other editions.