Anyone with a Julia Child cookbook on their shelf knows the pages are filled with timeless culinary tips. Those lucky enough to own a copy of the first one she ever wrote, however, may also be able to roll in a lot of dough — and we aren’t talking about her pastry recipes.
Before her iconic show The French Chef, Child made a name for herself as the co-author of Mastering the Art of French Cooking. Published in 1961 with more than 500 recipes, it quickly became a smash hit for seasoned chefs and home cooks across the globe. Like many authors, Child went on various book tours over the years which resulted in several signed copies that are still floating around today.
According to pros at Biblio, if you happen to get your hands on one of those prized first edition cookbooks with an inscription, you could earn up to $5,000 for it! Of course, we understand that it might hold more sentimental value, especially if it was passed down to you from a loved one. But maybe you’ve stumbled upon a copy at a garage or estate sale where its previous owner didn’t understand it’s true worth — and you wouldn’t mind parting with it for a hefty pile of cash.
Even better, finding both volumes of Mastering the Art of French Cooking from 1961 and its sequel in 1970 could earn you nearly double! Current listings for the pair on eBay have them going for $9,500. And although they’re not quite as lucrative, you can still earn a pretty penny for unsigned first editions of the book, like the one being sold by Rare Book Cellar for $279.95.
Of course, the value of your book will also depend on its quality. If you have a copy that seems to be in pretty good shape, it might be a good idea to check with a local book appraiser in your area.
While you’re at it, scan your shelves for another classic cookbook that could be worth even more money: first editions of Joy of Cooking go for up to $15,000! Or if you just want a budget-friendly copy of Child’s quintessential book, you can grab a reprint online (Buy on Amazon, $22.90).
Child once said, “A cookbook is only as good as its poorest recipe” — and hers are clearly rich in more ways than one!
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