Very taken by the recent Bunny Mellon sale at Sotheby's: Oak Spring was her understated- and relatively modest- Virginian 50's farmhouse. Wonderful collections of eighteenth century English porcelain, country furniture, equestrian mezzotints, antique silver, and a stunning museum of historic antiquarian gardening books in the grounds.
Considering the Mellons are one of the richest families in America, the whole shooting match seems to be the antithesis of banker's modernist bling (yawn) and the horror of today's ghastly celebrity culture. Until you remember that within the estate there was, I gather, a private airport, with a jet sitting on the runway, on stand-by. Not that I disapprove, God forbid; four cheers for Marie Antoinette and the Petit Trianon.
And then there was Lot 662, described by Sotheby's in that lovely dead-pan manner as:
" A Group of Cookbooks and Books on Entertaining including Farley, Art of Cookery; A W Kidner, Aspagarus ; Julia Child, Mastering the Art of French Cooking; The Alice B Toklas Cookbook, Jean Krofsky, The Gardener's Cookbook; and other titles. Approximately 200 volumes".
Now one of my quirky little hobbies is looking at other people's bookshelves. Sometimes I even take snapshots on my iphone. Sad.
I have no idea if Bunny actually cooked herself. I assume that she probably did. As did her private chef. French cookery of the old school seems to have been her thing. They look well thumbed too.
I-Spy with my little eye something beginning with M: Mastering the Art of French Cooking is a terrific book and if you were only going to have just one cookery book, this could very well be the one. The book was published in two volumes, the original hardback edition is the one to get:
The Alice B. Toklas Cookbook is another one which I may well cover in a future post: