Lot 21 of 446:
The original champion of British baking  

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Lot closed - Sold For (Includes Buyer's Premium):$1,020
$700 - $1,000

The Book of Bread

Simmons, Owen


Maclaren & Sons



336 pp. With 10 tipped-in original photographs including 2 gelatin silver prints; and 12 chromolithograph plates. 29x22.5 cm (11½x9"), publisher's green cloth lettered on spine in black. First Edition.

In their acclaimed 3-volume history of photo-illustrated books, Parr and Badger note:  "The nineteenth-century photo book was primarily an archive in which the things of the world were stored and catalogued. Here, at the beginning of the twentieth century, one of the humblest, yet most essential of objects is catalogued as precisely, rigorously and objectively as any work by a 1980s conceptual artist" (Volume I, p.56). 

A rare work illustrated with original photographs. Simmons, a lecturer at the National Bakery School in London, commissioned the full-size black and white photos of different types of bread that appear in his work, writing: "However critical readers may be, they will be forced to admit that never before have they seen such a complete collection of prize loaves illustrated in such an excellent manner." Martin Parr, in his seminal work "The Photobook: A History , Volume 1 offers: "It's basically a technical book with photographs but is now possessed of an absurdist element that was perhaps unintended, but it is also a beautiful object. Simmons was so obsessed with bread that he produced an obsessively detailed and beautifully illustrated book." Bitting p. 435.

Lot Amendments

Rubbing with some fraying along joints and at spine ends, some soiling to cloth and flaking to gilt lettering on cover; hinges starting; a few creased corners of b&w photographs, a bit of silvering to gelatin silver prints, photographs generally very good; overall about very good.

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