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Notebook of recipes and taxidermic instructions.

Physical Description:
1 v. ([68] p.) ; 17 cm.
Rare Books and Manuscripts
QL677.7 .H38 1830
Yale Center for British Art, Paul Mellon Fund
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Copyright Status:
Copyright Information
Archives & Manuscripts
Only pages with writing have been counted in the pagination statement; most of the leaves are blank. Some leaves with writing have been almost entirely removed (stubs remain), while other leaves have marginal portions removed.
The manuscript has been previously attributed to Robert Havell, Jr., best known as the aquatint engraver of John James Audubon's Birds of America (4 volumes, 1827-1839), in collaboration with his father, Robert Havell, Sr., who died in 1832. The Havell's also dabbled as merchants of natural history goods, including stuffed birds.
Bound in half black roan and marbled boards; rebacked.
Manuscript notebook containing a great variety of household recipes and taxidermic instructions, by an unidentified compiler. Sources and dates for the recipes are rarely noted; the few that bear dates fall between 1830 and 1834. While the name and address of R. Havell ("dealer in foreign birds, &c.") are recorded on the front pastedown, it is unlikely that the notes are his; the names and addresses of other merchants are noted in a similar fashion on the rear pastedown. It is perhaps more likely that the notes were compiled by W. Henley, whose name (with date, 1830) is recorded above Havell's, on the front pastedown. However, no additional information about Henley appears in the volume.
For taxidermy, there are notes on the stuffing and preserving of birds, including "arsenical soap for stuffing birds" and varnishes that "may be applied to any part of the bird with a camel hair brush." Pages at the end of volume record the names and addresses of select London merchants, including a bird stuffer and a bird eye manufacturer. Entries in the notebook devoted to household recipes are manifold. In the realm of veterinary medicine, there are recipes for mange, for rot in sheep feet, for distemper, and a recipe to prevent horses balling. In human medicine, there are cures for toothache, bile, viper bites, dog bites, sore throats, rheumatism, ague, and cholera morbus. Recipes for useful household products are also noted, including a composition for shoe polish, a rat poison, a waterproof varnish for umbrellas, and a strong glue. Of potential use for an artist or artisan, there are instructions on how to obtain the skeletons of leaves & flowers, how to revive old writings which are almost defaced, how to clean old pictures painted in oil colors, as well as recipes for cement, ink, gum paste, and red varnish. At the end of the volume there are recipes for making fireworks, including compositions for a two ounce rocket, "Brilliant Stars," and white and blue stars.
Subject Terms:
Birds -- Collection and preservation -- 19th century.
Fireworks -- Great Britain -- 19th century.
Havell, Robert, 1793-1878.
Henley, W. -- Autograph, 1830.
Henley, W., active 1830.
Recipes -- Great Britain -- 19th century.
Taxidermy -- Great Britain -- 19th century.
Traditional medicine -- Great Britain -- Formulae, receipts, prescriptions.
Veterinary medicine -- 19th century.
Workshop recipes -- Great Britain -- 19th century.
Medical formularies.
Havell, Robert, 1793-1878, associated name.
Henley, W., active 1830, associated name.
IIIF Manifest:

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