Tuesday, November 18, 2008

The charming illustrations of Win Ng

Cookbooks are another obsession of mine. One of my favorite series of cookbooks is the “craft” collection by Violet Schafer, sometimes co-authored by her hubby Charles, which include: Herbcraft (1971), Wokcraft (1973), Eggcraft (1974), Breadcraft (1974), and Teacraft (1975). Besides recipes, the authors include myths and folklore associated with the topic of each book. What makes these books really charming is the illustrations by the late San Francisco artist, Win Ng. His delicate drawings have clever details that make the cookbooks come to life. Mr. Ng illustrated four of the “craft” books. Barney Wan, the art director of British Vogue (in the late 1960's), illustrated Breadcraft, which has a different vibe than the rest of the series. Here's a few samples of Mr. Ng's illustrations.

This beautifully stylized teacup with Lotus flowers is from Teacraft. These teacups would look handsome, framed and hung on a wall in in some cozy nook at your home.

I love the dreaminess of this enchanted teacup from Teacraft.

This whimsical fairy tale teapot is also from Teacraft. The fishing "prince" frog makes me giggle.

This adorable lion and owl (and detail shot) is the illustration for chervil, from Herbcraft.

Also from Herbcraft, this representation of Adam and Eve is for balm.

This giant potted jungle is the illustration introducing the section “Herban Renewal” in Herbcraft, which I think is the best book in the series. You can buy a copy of Herbcraft or Teacraft here or here for only a penny—that's the bargain of the day!


Unknown said...

Dear Mr. Peacock,
I'm simply in love with your blog! And thanks for the tip about these "craft" books. I'm a Big Sur hippie at heart and would love to find these.

Vintage cookbook love,
J.B. Taylor

P.S. I'm a blogger too: http://jbtaylor.typepad.com

SimpleSue said...

Thanks for this post. I just learned about these books from your blog and just went to order them! Love Win Ng's illustrations.

kelli said...

I'm simply enchanted by your blog Mr. Peacock! Thank you for adding a spot of lovely to my day =}