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OP: Practical Carving

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by Thomas J. Murrey

Working primarily as a chef, Thomas J. Murrey was hotel caterer for the Astor House in New York, the Continental Hotel in Philadelphia, and other prestigious establishments. He was also an enterprising food writer, who, throughout the 1880s and ‘90s, produced a number of highly popular single-subject titles. 

These attractive little books (4” x 6”) appeared in a variety of bindings, but the most common design was a trim three-piece paper-over-boards, each with a charming illustration on the cover relating to the subject of that volume.

This is an 1887 first printing in Very Good Minus condition. Some color fading on the front, as well as a small bare patch on the lower left corner, probably the result of a label removal. One rear flyleaf is missing corner paper where it stuck to the preceding page. Over-all, a nice copy. Detailed instruction for beef, mutton/lamb, veal, pork, poultry and game, and fish. 

A bookplate on front paste-down states: “Waldo Lincoln Collection of American Cookery-Books, presented to the American Antiquarian Society… September 30, 1929.” Waldo Lincoln was a former president of the society. Also bears the bookseller labels of M. M. Einhorn Maxwell (NYC) and Charles E. Lauriat (Boston) to the front and rear pastedowns, respectively.

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