First Ice Cream Recipe in an English Cookbook

Click thumbnails to open zoomable images.

109. [COOKBOOK]. EALES, Mary. The Compleat Confectioner: or, The Art of Candying and Preserving in its Utmost Perfection. Being A Collection of all the Receipts of the Late Ingenious Mrs. Eales, Confectioner to Their Late Majesties King William and Queen Anne. Familiarly Adapted for the Use of the Ladies, and Very Necessary for All Who Are Willing to Excel in the Most Excellent Qualifications of a Good House-Wife. Publish’d with the Consent of Her Executors. London: Printed for J. Brindley, Bookseller, at the King’s Arms in New Bond-Street, and Bookbinders to Her Majesty and His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales; and R. Mountagu [sic] at the General Post-Office, the Corner of Great Queen-Street, near Drury Lane. MDCCXXXIII. <Price Bound 2s. 6d.> [10], [1] 2-100, [4, ads] pp. (95 misnumbered 65). 8vo (16.8 x 10.5 cm), contemporary blue and red marbled wraps. Slightly cocked, scattered light to moderate foxing, mostly confined to margins. Overall, a very good copy. With ink signature of J.P. Holland at top of title page.

     Later edition of a standard, popular cookbook first published in 1718 as Mrs. Mary Eales’s Receipts. This is the first edition with this title, although the publishers also issued an edition this same year with the original title. Cagle, A Matter of Taste (2d edition) 660. English Short Title Catalogue N27767. McLean, p. 40. Oxford, p 55. Simon, BG 541.

     The author is distinguished in English culinary literature as the first to publish a recipe for ice cream (pp. 92-93). As the title implies, everyone wanting to be “a good house-wife” could prepare such luxuries that were once the reserve of royalty. Also of interest is the inclusion of numerous recipes involving exotic fruits such as oranges and lemons, which would have had to have been imported or grown in expensive, climate-controlled orangeries that only the nobility could have afforded. Finally, some of the recipes are quite complicated, requiring days to prepare and specialized equipment. One suspects that the solitary, average housewife with four children lacked the time to undertake some of these recipes.


Sold. Hammer: $400.00; Price Realized: $490.00.

Auction 23 Abstracts

Click thumbnails to open zoomable images.

DSRB Home | e-mail: