Working primarily as a chef, Thomas Murrey (b. mid-19th century) was hotel caterer for the Astor House in New York, the Continental Hotel in Philadelphia, and other prestigious establishments; he was, however, also a highly enterprising food writer, who, between about 1885 and the early 1890s, produced ten highly popular single-subject titles. These attractive little books, 4 x 6 inches, appeared in a variety of bindings, but the most common design was a trim three-piece paper-over-boards, each with an appealing picture on the cover relating to the subject of that volume.
Murrey’s ten titles were as follows: Breakfast Dainties, 50 Salads, The Book of Entrées, Practical Carving, Luncheon, Cookery for Invalids, 50 Soups, Oysters and Fish, Cooking with a Chafing Dish, and Valuable Cooking Recipes. We’re pleased to have found several of these to offer.
The 1885 first edition of this book and the only one of those currently offered that has a full-cloth binding rather than the more often seen paper-over-boards. The grey fabric has been stamped in gold with an attractive image of a cook making up a salad bowl. From anchovy salad to cherry salad, to a lamb salad with capers and tarragon. Rubbed at the spine and corners. The front endpaper is hinged archivally; the half title and title page secured archivally; and the rear endpaper has a vertical tear, with one-third missing. Nonetheless, this is a quite nice looking copy; bright clean interior. Editions do exist with cover artwork typical of most of the series