Christie's - Paris

Thursday, March 23rd, 2023

Pierre's Feast - Library of Baron Pierre de Crombrugghe
Sale #22143

Christie's Paris, in association with experts Jacques T. Quentin and Benoît Forgeot, invites gourmets and collectors to survey five centuries of gastronomic history, with the library of Baron Pierre de Crombrugghe.

The centerpiece of the library, the  Cuisinier Taillevant , or the  Viandier , is an extremely rare incunabula print of a 13th century treatise. Adorned with a large woodcut depicting a cook in the kitchen, this book published in Lyon around 1495 was the first illustrated cookbook. The copy in the library is the only complete one that has come down to us.

Half a century later, the  extremely excellent Livre de Cuysine tresutille appeared , rich in more than three hundred recipes. During the Renaissance, it was a  culinary best-seller  and its influence was considerable. The copy offered at auction is one of the 3 listed from the edition given in Lyon in 1542, the only one still in private hands.

In the 19th century, the publications diversified, to develop a less rich and more affordable cuisine. With the writings of Brillat-Savarin and Escoffier, gastronomy was modernized. One of the most extraordinary pieces in the collection is the massive working manuscript of the second edition of  Escoffier's Guide Culinaire  , still considered the cornerstone of traditional French cuisine today. Sauces, entremets, soups, roasts: nothing is forgotten among the thousands of recipes, nourished by his experiences at the Savoy and the Ritz.

Many themes of the culinary imagination are covered in the library: making frozen desserts, the first treatise describing the principle of canning; European texts on tea, coffee and chocolate, treatises on the cutting of meat and fish, as well as on setting a table; truffles, oysters, bakery, mushrooms.


Mar 17th 10am – 6pm
Mar 18th 10am – 6pm
Mar 19th 2pm – 6pm
Mar 20th 10am – 6pm
Mar 21st 10am – 6pm
Mar 22nd 10am – 6pm

Christie's - Paris
9 Avenue Matignon

Paris, France

48.870061568185, 2.31173275

Christie's - Paris