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Cole & Contreras / Sylvan Cole Gallery

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Florilège culinaire (MANUSCRIPT BOOK OF RECIPES BY FRANZ TOUSSAINT)

Franz Toussaint A HOLOGRAPH MANUSCRIPT COOKBOOK INITIALED TWICE BY FRANZ TOUSAINT (1879-1955), famed Orientalist author, poet, screenwriter, and translator. The title-page asserts that "Aucune de ces recettes ne se trouve dans un livre de cuisine". The preface (initialed by Toussaint) asserts that Toussaint's great-grandfather, the Général Baron Toussaint (1772-1827) was friends with Grimod de la Reynière (they lived in the same building on the Champs-Elysées, a building that later became the American Embassy). Many of the recipes date to the 1820s and earlier. A later note in Toussaint s hand, after the preface: "Recettes relues en pleine famine, 1944." An inserted slip (dated 1949 and initialed by Toussaint) adds: "Ce carnet ne doit être prêté à personne, quelle que soit la personne et quel que soit le prétexte." 43 pages of French recipes follow, written in ink in Toussaint s minuscule but extremely clear and legible hand ("La seule vraie recette pour la bouillabaisse", "truffes à la maréchale", "poulet à la mistral", "la bécasse Louis XV", and many, many others. Four blank leaves follow (obviously left blank so more French recipes could be included, if necessary. Then there are 3 pages of Turkish and Arab recipes, 2 blank leaves, and one page of rice dishes. Then a blank leaf and a tomato recipe. Then two blank leaves, then a bound-in ticket to the "Exposition coloniale internationale" held in Paris in 1931 (!), then seven more blank leaves. Then 7 pages of sauce recipes, then another blank leaf. Then 2 pages of recipes for stuffings and then 5 more blank leaves. Then a page with recipes for crème anglaise and crème au chocolat and then 4 more blank leaves. Then 3 pages of dessert recipes (including "Pêches en seins de Vénus" and then another blank leaf. Then a page of recipes for "oranges confites" and "jus d'oranges [sic] confit", and then 5 more blank leaves. Then 4 pages of recipes for coctails, and then 7 more blank leaves. And finally a table of wines, followed by 2 final blank leaves. On fine Sorel-Moussel wove paper with a moleskine-type cover, with Toussaint's bookplate and inkstamp on preliminary blank. 12mo (17.5 x 11 cm). Tiny traces of wear to binding, else FINE AND BRIGHT. Unique, and worthy of publication.