Sequences of carving visual conventions - numbers and food


"Always eat grapes downwards - that is always eat the best grape first; in this way there will be none better on the bunch, and each grape will seem good down to the last. If you eat the other way, you will not have a good grape in the lot. Besides you will be tempting Providence to kill you before you come to the best.... In New Zealand for a long time I had to do the washing up after each meal. I used to do the knives first, for it might please God to take me before I came to the forks, and then what a sell it would have been to have done the forks rather than the knives."
Samuel Butler in Henry Festing Jones (ed), The Note-Books of Samuel Butler, Fifield, London 1913.

a, b, c The arrangement of colours, shapes and packaging in the confectionery industry provides an interesting exercise in the sequential. With every mouthwatering pack shot a dry line drawing has to explain the generic types. from Hal and Ellen Greenberg's Inside Chocolate - The Chocolate Lover's Guide to Boxed Chocolates, Abrams, New York, 1985.

01 The Grand Coronation Banquet 1821 from a handcoloured wood engraving measuring 13 x 21 cms
02 A Banquet held in a new boiler constructed by Consolidated Edison in New York. Hours later the temperature would be 2500 degress Fahrenheit. advert used by Combustion Engineering of New York in January 1947

03 A.B.L.Grimod de la Reyniere, Manuel des Amphitryons... Paris 1808. How to cut up Turbot, Barbell and Carp.

04 From Jacques Vontet's The Art of Carving Meat and Fruit, Lyons 1647, and a selection of ingeniously carved lumps for the best of tables.

05. Giacomo Procacchi, a plate from Trincier oder Vorlege Buch, leipzig, 1784. This shows the sequence in which the animal is dismembered.

07. a crude but informative visual guide to carving a pidgeon from the seventh edition (Paris 1708) of L'Ecole parfaite des officiers de bouche.

09. The turning of animal flesh into novelty cut-outs, from Jacques Vontet, L'Art de Trancher la viande et toute sorte de fruicts, Lyons 1647.

The refrigerator is designed to store different types of food in different ways.
That sequence plays a great part in the advertising
and promotion of the machine.

10. Gibson Refrigerator Co., Greenville, Michigan, advert August 1947
11. General Electric Space Maker Refrigerator advert November 1947
12 Amana Refrigeration Inc. Amana Iowa advert December 1954

14. Edward Bawden's menu for the Double Crown Club London
from GRAPHIS 44, 1952


15. The protocol of a Zoroastrian meal.

16. G.P.Harsdorffer, Vollstandiges und von neuem vermehrtes Trincir-Buch, Nuremburg 1657.This is the frontispiece of Harsdorffer's book of table manners and the protocol of serving.

17. G.P.Harsdorffer Vollstandig verrmehrtes Trincir-Buch, Nurenburg 1652 a plate from this well known book about table manners and the arrangement of birds and fruit

18. from John Trusler, The Honours of the Table, or Rules for behaviour during meals with the whole art of carving.....for the use of young people, London 1791.

19. from Francois Massialot, Nouvelle instruction pour les confitures, les liquers et les fruits, Paris 1705.

20. A Sundae from The Manual of Improving a Snack Bar or Cafe 1954


Francois Massialot, Nouvelle instruction pour les confitures.. Paris 1742.
Menon, La Science du Maitre d'Hotel, Paris, 1788. Seating Plan and disposition of the dishes.
Menon, Nouveau Traite de Cuisine, Paris 1739.