The Joy of Cooking

If you are like me, you have a copy of the Joy of Cooking lying around.  It’s been published since 1931 and each new edition has seen a few recipes come and go, making the book a better fit for the times.  Must be working as it is still a best seller.

A copy of the original 1931 edition is up for sale this week at the New York Antiquarian Book Fair for $15,000.  Yes, you got that right–there’s 3 zeros after that 15.

Here’s what Rabelias Books has to say about the monograph:

Rombauer, Irma.

The Joy of Cooking. A compilation of Reliable Recipes with a Casual Culinary Chat. Illustrations.

St. Louis, MO: by the author/printed by the A.C. Clayton Printing Co., 1931. $15,000.

Octavo, 395 pages. First edition of the most iconic of American cookbooks, in the exceedingly

scarce dust jacket. The jacket, designed by Rombauer’s daughter, Marion Rombauer Becker,

depicts, in high deco style, St. Martha of Bethany slaying the dragon of kitchen drudgery. The end

papers and final blank pages have a number of recipes penned or pasted in, and with a small closed

tear to the bottom of the title page, otherwise very good. The dust jacket has had significant tape

repair to the edges and spine, and the final “R” in Rombauer is slightly eclipsed from the repair, but

there is almost no loss to the jacket, and as such is the best dust jacket we’ve seen to date.

Exceptionally rare in the dust jacket.

And here’s a copy of some of the books expected to be exhibited for sale this week. Very interesting stuff, if you are into cookery.

2 thoughts on “The Joy of Cooking

  1. I really love the cover! I wonder, though, the meaning of the dragon she is trying to tame (with a broom!). As intriguing as I find it, I won’t be bidding.

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