Skip to Content

Vintage Food Images From Mrs Beeton’s Cookbook

This is a curated selection of vintage food prints from Mrs Beeton’s Famous cookbook, “The Book of Household Management”.

The book was first published in 1861, selling over 60,000 copies in its first year. And more than 2 million within 7 years of publication. Making it one of the most famous cookbooks ever published.

Isabella Beeton (nee Mayson), was arguably the first domestic goddess. Her book covered many important areas of Victorian household management, from childcare, etiquette and entertaining.  Over 80% of the book is recipes. It’s often just referred to as Mrs Beeton’s Cookbook. 

Part of the success of Mrs Beeton’s Cookbook is the revolutionary way recipes are written. They are accompanied by coloured illustrations, ingredients are listed at the beginning and cooking times are given.   Many recipes are presented in the same way today.

Cover of the Book of Household Management Mrs Beeton

The full title of the book is “The book of household management; comprising information for the mistress … Also, sanitary, medical, & legal memoranda; with a history of the origin, properties, and uses of all things connected with home life and comfort

Isabella Beeton

Isabella was born in London in 1836 and educated at a German boarding school. She married The publisher Samuel Beeton at the age of 20.

Isabella wrote for some of her husband’s domestic magazines, translating French stories and writing a cookery column. At the age of 25, she wrote her seminal work  “The Book of Household Management”. Sadly she died four years later at the young age of 28 years old after giving birth to her fourth child, from an infection.

As the eldest of 21 children, Isabella had a lot of experience in running a busy household. Many of the domestic duties of cooking, cleaning and raising her siblings were her responsibility.  This helped informed her ideas in the book. 

However, not all the recipes in the book were original. Mrs Beeton got many of her recipes from other cookbooks, household books and magazines.  The way she presented and displayed the information in a system the Victorians found easy to follow, was unique.

Mrs Beeton’s Cookbook Food Illustrations

Mrs Beeton’s cookbook is well over 100 years old, so all the vintage images shared here are in the Public Domain. That means that they are copyright free, so you can print and use them as you wish.

Click on the title above the vintage food illustration you want to download. A higher resolution image will open in a new window in your browser. If you click on the image you will be able to save or print it.

Note the images here are from several different editions of Mrs Beeton’s book, published between 1861 & 1907.

1. Various Fish Dishes

Mrs Beeton’s book has a couple of chapters on fish, from what fish to choose and how to prepare and how best to dress it.

Mrs Beeton's cookbook fish

2. Dressed Seafood

How to serve and dress oysters, lobster and crab.

Oysters, lobster and dressed crab Mrs Beeton

3. Types of Fish

Fish identification poster from The Book of Household Management.

fish household management

4. More Varieties of Fish

From crab to Dover sole.

More varieties of fish

5. Dressed Fish Dishes

From oyster patties to dressed crab.

Dressed fish dishes Mrs Beeton

6. Meat Dishes – Mrs Beeton

From croquettes of fowl to a garnished calf’s head.

various meet dishes

7. More Meat Dishes

From legs of mutton to pigs feet.

Meat dishes Mrs Beeton's cookbook

8. Poultry Dishes

poultry dishes Mrs Beeton's cookbook

9. Modern Mode of Serving Dishes

Modern mode of serving dishes Mrs Beeton's Household Management

10. Galantine of Turkey

Galantine of Turkey

11. Various Fruits

Desert fruits from apricots to Victoria plumbs.

There are a collection of amazing watercolor fruit paintings on Pictureboxblue.

Fruits from Mrs Beeton's cookbook

12. Entrees

From Toulouse pasty to veal stew.

Entrees Mrs Beeton's cookbook

13. Cold Dishes

A selection of cold dishes from pigeon pie to piped ham.

Cold Dishes from Household Management

14. Bacon and Ham

An illustration from Mrs Beaton’s cookbook showing all the different cuts of bacon and ham from a pig.

Bacon and Ham meat cuts

15. Game And Poultry

From snipe on toast to boiled fowl.

assorted cooked game and poultry

16. Vegetable Dishes

Cooked vegetables from croquette potatoes to new carrots.

Check out these cool Adolphe Millot vegetable posters.

vegetable dishes Mrs Beaton's Cookbook

17. More Vegetables

More vegetable dishes from braized celery to braized onions.

More vegetable dishes

18. Various Sweet Dishes

From pancakes to Simnel cake.

Various sweet dishes

19. More Fruits

From black grapes to pineapples.

Various fruits Mrs Beeton

20. Various Salads

From cucumber salad to salad Dumas all in Mrs Beeton’s Book of Household Management.

Salads from the book of Household Management

21. Cheese Variety Poster

A print from Mrs Beeton’s Cookbook of 20 different cheeses.

(There is a selection of vintage cheese labels on Pictureboxblue).

  1.  Gorgonzola
  2. Double Gloucester
  3. Koboko
  4. Parmesan
  5. Dutch
  6. Roquefort
  7. Schabziger
  8. Dunragit
  9. York Cream
  10. Port du Salut
  11. Cheddar
  12. Pommel
  13. Camembert
  14. Mainzer
  15. Cheshire
  16. Stilton
  17. Cream Bondon
  18. Gruyère
  19. Wiltshire Loaf
  20. Cheddar Loaf.
cheese Poster Mrs Beeton

22. Various Table Settings

Table layouts in the book of Household Management.

Mrs Beetons Table settings

23. Super Buffet For Ball Room

Supper Buffet Mrs Beaton

24. Menu and Guest Cards

Menu and guest cards

25. Jellies and other Deserts


The Index of American Design has some wonderful illustrations of Kitchenware.

I hope you enjoyed these wonderful food images from Mrs Beeton’s book. You might like to check out these other vintage books and advertising images on the site.

Mrs Beeton's vintage food illustrations

As well as looking great for home decoration, I think these vintage food prints would also be great for making decoupaged placemats.


Tuesday 3rd of May 2022

Oh, my! All the things I can do with your generous posts! I'm about to restore my home after years of neglect and I can use this to decorate and I'm thinking this would be wonderful to use as cover + separation sheets for a recipe binder. Thanks so much!


Wednesday 4th of May 2022

Thank you, that sounds like a lovely use of the images.