Jul 15, 2021 - Sale 2576

Sale 2576 - Lot 30

Estimate: $ 600 - $ 800
Raffald, Elizabeth (1733-1781)
The Experienced English House-keeper.

Manchester: Printed by Harrop for the Author, and sold by Fletch & Anderson; and by Eliz. Raffald, Confectioner, near the Exchange, The Book to be signed by the Author's own Hand-writing, 1769.

First edition, signed by Raffald on the first page of chapter one; with two folding engraved plates (detached, one with corner torn away, not affecting the image), showing how to set the table for the first and second course of a formal meal; bound in full sheepskin ruled in gilt (worn, front board detached), contents stained and spotted, seven leaves formerly torn out and carefully stitched back together with thread, last leaf of calendar torn with loss of text to diagonal inner margin; a good candidate for restoration, some minor worming to inner margin, 8 1/8 x 5 in.

Raffald was able to change her station from housekeeper to published author and operator of an number of inter-connected businesses, including an employment placement agency for domestic workers, a cooking school, and a catering business. She also sold jellies, pastries, pickles, ketchup, cuts of meat, and fresh fish, in addition to imported olives, plums, citrus, dried fruit, nuts, and spices.

This work contains the first recipe for a Bride Cake (as Raffald styles it) best known in the present era as the now ubiquitous wedding cake. She may also be the innovative baker who came up with the first Eccles cake (a hand pie filled with currants). As a safeguard against printing piracy, Raffald signed every single copy of all her published books, as is the case here. Even so, recipe theft plagued her even beyond the grave; one of the chief offenders was Isabella Beeton (1836-1865).

Rare, ESTC lists nine copies in U.S. libraries; ESTC T82678.