OP: Les Diners de Gala
Felice, 1973. Hardcover. Very Good Minus. First printing.
If you’ve never encountered cannibalistic, erotically suggestive, hallucinatory imagery of the grotesque in a cookbook, then you have certainly never seen Les Diners de Gala (1973).
Though a cookbook might not be the first thing you would expect from the master of Surrealism, Salvador Dalí and his wife, Gala, were indeed gourmands and hosted extravagant dinner parties—perhaps more performance art than meal—including wandering exotic animals and wildly costumed celebrity guests.
So stunning is the visual stimulus—color photography and Dalí’s own artwork filling every page—that the recipes, and there are many of them, are almost lost in the dreamworld. It would not be unreasonable to wonder if they are even viable or simply bizarre contrivances from a fevered mind, but in fact they were contributed and developed by some of the finest Parisian restaurants of the day, including La Tour d’Argent, Lasserre, and Maxim’s. The recipes, while occasionally unusual, can be taken in all seriousness.
Published by friend of Dalí and gallery owner Felice Balay, this large (9” x 12.5”) and handsome volume is a masterful production. We are thrilled to offer the first (and only) Felice printing in Very Good Minus condition. The interior is clean and unmarked, but the fore and top edges show a fair amount of foxing. The sturdy gold foil jacket, highly susceptible to scratching and fraying if unprotected, is dimming, scuffed, and shelfworn. Handsome nonetheless.
It is commonly believed that only 400 copies of this original printing exist. We cannot confirm this detail, but we do know that this printing is uncommon and a highly sought collector’s item. Also available in its current edition from Taschen.