Old cookbooks could be worth a small fortune.
Listings on eBay — a popular multinational auction site — show that some vintage cookbooks have fetched hundreds or thousands of dollars.
The cookbook currently fetching the highest price on eBay is a 142-page spiral cookbook titled, “Arizona Cook Book: Indian, Mexican, Western, Arizona Products, Backpacking-Camping, Patio Barbecue,” which has been auctioned off to selling for $6,850.20 (original listing price: $9,786);
$2 BILLS FROM 1890 CAN BE WORTH OVER $4,500: REPORT
The book was written by Al Fischer and published in 1983 by Golden West Publishers.
Other sellers on eBay and similar e-commerce platforms, such as Amazon and Etsy, have listed the book for under $20.
The seller, who is hoping to sell the 40-year-old Southwestern cookbook, noted that the book is in “very good” condition with no “known wear or writing.”
Three other cookbooks fetching four figures on eBay at the time of publication include “The Australian Women’s Weekly: Great Ways with Steaks & Chops” from 1974 ($1,010.85), “Betty Crocker’s Picture Cook Book” from 1950 ( $1,000) and a first edition “La Methode Jacques Pepin: An Illustrated Guide to The Fundamental Techniques of Cooking” from 1976 ($1,000).
11-YEAR-OLD STARTS DESSERTS BUSINESS OUT OF FACTORY, SHARES SECRET RECIPE FOR SUCCESS
Is collecting cookbooks a real hobby?
Nicole Sawyer, the co-founder of Chattic.com, an online community and collectibles marketplace, told FOX Business that “cookbooks are a huge collectible category with huge value potential.”
“Cookbooks can be auctioned, especially if they are rare, valuable or have historical significance,” said Sawyer, who is based in New York. “Some vintage cookbooks can fetch high prices at auction, particularly those in excellent condition with strong provenance.”
Sawyer said there are six reasons why cookbooks have become a collectible category among foodies.
1. Historical value: Old cookbooks provide insight into cooking and eating habits from the time they were written and published. These books give readers “a glimpse into the past” and help people “understand how food and cooking practices have changed over time,” according to Sawyer.
PEANUT BUTTER SOUP AND PEANUTS WERE PARTNERS IN WORLD WAR: HERE’S WHY
2. Nostalgia: Old cookbooks can revive memories of childhood, a family gathering, or a holiday celebration. Sawyer noted that some cookbook collectors save cookbooks that their parents or grandparents used, while others make it a point to acquire popular cookbooks from a certain era.
3. Unique Recipes: Old cookbooks may contain recipes that are not common by modern standards. Sawyer said some foodies may build a cookbook collection because they are interested in trying unique recipes, ingredients and cooking techniques of the past.
4. Artistic value: Old cookbooks usually have an “aesthetic value” that can attract a collector, according to Sawyer. In her own words, “vintage cookbooks often feature beautiful illustrations, typography and design elements that are no longer used in modern cookbooks.”
5. Investment value: Old cookbooks are sometimes collected as a “financial investment,” Sawyer said. A cookbook can increase in value over time, especially if it is considered rare, has historical significance, and is in good condition.
Celebrity Chef ROBERT IRVINE REVEALS WHAT ‘THREE PILLARS OF FAILURE’ WILL BREAK YOUR BUSINESS
6. Celebrity Status: Old cookbooks that are associated with celebrity chefs or have “cultural significance” can fetch higher prices, according to Sawyer. “For example, a first edition of Julia Child’s ‘Mastering the Art of French Cooking’ sold for $7,500 at auction in 2019, and a first edition of ‘The Joy of Cooking’ from 1931 sold for over $46,000 in 2017.” , he said. .
Cookbook Collectibles: Notable Auctions and World Record Collection
The most expensive cookbook in the world is currently unknown, but auctions have sold several for large sums.
Bonhams, an international auction house based in the United Kingdom, sold eight cooking and food titles from the Library of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg for $15,300 in January 2022.
GET THE FOX BUSINESS ON THE GO BY CLICKING HERE
British auction house Christie’s sold “Cookbook of the Pope’s Secret Chef” (circa 1570), a cookbook written by Italian Renaissance chef Bartolomeo Scappi, for $18,750 in October 2019, according to auction records.
Sotheby’s, a British multinational fine art auction house sold a collection of about 200 books on cooking and entertaining for $17,500 in November 2014.
The current world record for the largest collection of cookbooks is held by Lisa Ekus of Hatfield, Massachusetts, according to Guinness World Records.
CLICK HERE TO READ MORE ABOUT FOX BUSINESS
She was recognized by Guinness on July 25, 2019, for her collection of 4,239 cookbooks, which she collected over 40 years.