London; Edinburgh: Maclaren & Sons, 37 and 38 Shoe Lane; printed by Turnbull & Spears, .
Quarto (29 x 23 cm.), 336 pages. Index. Advertisements. Illustrated, with twelve full-page color illustrations, eight tipped-in half-tones; and two tipped-in original gelatin silver prints. First trade edition, second printing, differentiated from the first printing by twenty-four fewer pages, mostly advertisements and a list of subscribers to the deluxe edition, as well as undecorated endpapers (which in the first printing are decorated), as well as a different decorative rule on the cloth board. A comprehensive book of professional bread-making. "The Book of Bread is one of those rare books that can be judged by its cover, or rather, by its name... A monograph about the manufacture of bread, it is the bread-maker's bread book, illustrated with photographs, about which Simmons – evidently a man who did not hold with false modesty-writes: 'However critical readers might 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.' The photographic reproductions – as opposed to the two original silver-gelatin prints pasted into the book – Simmons continues, were produced, with no expense spared, after various trials using different processes, especially for the colour illustrations: 'The loaves are now reproduced photographically correct, of exactly full size, and the colours are as nearly perfect as it is possible for them to be by any process at present known.' Simmons might be a little over confident about the reproduction, but as far as the aesthetic quality of the photographs go, his boasts are not misplaced. The late Sam Wagstaff, who amassed one of the finest photographic collections of the 20th century, once said that there was a photographer for everything-someone who was the best at photographing shoes, or clouds, or mountains. Simmons evidently found the best photographer of bread, though sadly, he failed to credit him. The 19th-century photobook was primarily an archive in which the things of the world were stored and catalogued. Here, at the beginning of the 20th century, one of the humblest, yet most essential of objects is catalogued as precisely, rigorously and objectively as any work by a 1980s Conceptual artists" (Parr & Badger I:56) The plate list for this edition refers to a bromide photograph; however, that photograph was only included in the edition de luxe, which was published the same year, and bound in full red grained morocco. ~ Some light foxing, spots and light soiling to endpapers, and edges of a few photographs creased. Publisher's green cloth, with a decorative border and pine title in black, and gilt-titled on the front panel, is edgeworn and rubbed. Still, good or better. [Bitting, 435. Roth 101, Parr & Badger I:56].