A ROYAL cookery book from the 18th century filled with wacky recipes using ingredients such as blackbirds and puffins has emerged for sale in South Cerney.
The unique book, which was used to document the day-to-day meals served to King George II and Queen Caroline at Kensington Palace, is expected to fetch up to £8,000 when it goes under the hammer at Dominic Winter Book Auctions.
The 160-page manuscript was compiled by the Royal couple’s chef William Daniel between June 1, 1736 and December 1737, shortly after Queen Caroline’s death.
Some of the delicacies often enjoyed by the King and Queen included a selection of roasted sea and garden birds such as larks, snipes, teals, puffins, pigeons and blackbirds.
Also on the Kensington Palace menu was quail and rooster served up with frogs, lamb, boar heads, mutton and roasted pig.
Chris Albury, auctioneer at Dominic Winter, said it was unusual to see an item such as this appear in such good condition.
“One occasionally sees individual menus for this or that special occasion but it is rare to see such a full record covering 18 months of royal dining,” he said.
“There are some delicacies that we would now feel squeamish about such as larks, blackbirds, puffins and Ortolan Buntings, which most people nowadays would rather gaze at through binoculars than on the plate.
“Tomatoes are nowhere to be seen as they were only incorporated in recipes in the last 18th century. There are also plenty of puddings and tarts due to the increasing use of sugar at the time.”
The book, which was written in sepia ink with a quill, contains several grease spots from where the book was present at meal times in the palace kitchens.
William Daniel died in 1739 and is buried in the gardens at Chelsea Hospital.
For more information, visit www.dominicwinter.co.uk.