La Vigne - Voyage Autour des Vins de France. Etude Physiologique, Anecdotique, Historique, Humoristique et Meme Scientifique - Charles Albert Vicomte d'Arnoux Bertall 1878 - E. Plon et Cie., Paris - First Edition A superb example of this richly illustrated wine book landmark, text in French, with numerous humorous anecdotes about winemakers, merchants, innkeepers... Housed in the publisher’s luxury full red morocco binding.

The author and illustrator ‘Bertall’ is the pseudonym of the designer, caricaturist and photographer Charles Albert Vicomte d'Arnoux (1820-1882), who provides 95 full page captioned illustrations and close to 400 in-text wood-engraved illustrations.

The a vast array of illustrations by ‘Bertall’ are combined with an interesting potpourri of French viniana. For example, wines are divided into three big categories: white wines, red wines and blue wines, matching the French national colours. The whites are generally luxury wines, from Chablis and Saumur to Champagne and Sauterne - wines of the rich. Red wines are for general use and for tasting, they make glad the heart and the mind, etc. Blue wines are the wines of the workers and of those who prefer not to work, wines warm in the gut but hard on the gullet, good for vitality in moderation, but bad when taken to excess [pages 23-24].
  At Beychevelle, the person in charge was asked about why the pressing of the grapes was done to violin accompaniment. Because we've always done it and will as long as I have any say. Did they do it elsewhere? Probably, but he didn't really know. Did this improve the wine? He believed it did. Thanks to the experience of our ancestors, the wine was good in their time; thanks to them it was still good today. [200-201].

About the so-called weaker sex: the prosperity of the champagne industry is due mainly to the initiative and intelligence of two widows, Cliquot and Pommery, without whom their husbands would have passed on to complete oblivion. [page 529]. - [Quoted with thanks to Eberhard Buehler,

Provenance: From the collection of Gerhard Jensen with his pictorial bookplate.

References: Bitting,
Gastronomic Bibliography, 38. Eberhard Buehler, Viniana, B41. Cagle, A Matter of Taste, 77. Marcus and Elizabeth Crahan, Sotheby’s Auction, 482. Oberlé, Bibliothèque Bachique/Fritsch, 138. André Simon, Bibliotheca Vinaria, 110. Harry Schraemli, Gastronomie Sammlung 1952, 122. The Library of Harry Schraemli, Sotheby's Auction 1971, 50. Vicaire, Bibliographie Gastronomique, 87. Auction Aldes (6/2104), Livres de gastronomie, 260.

Quarto (binding size 28.6x21cm), pp. [10] 659 [3]. Pagination, as per publisher’s, includes plates.
  In publisher s full red pebbled morocco, spine lettered and intricately decorated in gilt, all edges thick gilt, ivory moir   Condition: Fine in near fine binding with some minor rubbing to the edges and corners of the binding.   Ref: 110168   Price: HK$ 8,000