It is safe to assume well to do foodies and celebrity chefs will be lining up to grab this bit of bite from Christie’s on December 5 in Paris. The auction house just announced the upcoming auction of 108 rare Michelin Guides. To be sold as a single lot, some of the guides offered were printed way back when in 1900, the year Michelin Tire Company started it. Not so surprisingly then, the beginning roots of Michelin Guide are not based on food but on providing information to motorists on services such as gas stations, mechanics, and hotels. They were the Google Maps before Google Maps.
For those in the food industry, the 1926 Guide is an important one. This was the year Michelin started to award coveted (sometimes cursed) stars listed in its “Recommended Hotels and Restaurants” section. To accomplish the task they sent anonymous reviewers to restaurants to try the food. It took them few more years to develop the rating system they currently use. In 1931, Michelin introduced the zero, one, two and three hierarchy, and in 1936 published the rankings criteria.
According to Luxuo, the collection comes with some interesting war stories, which is sure to gain interest among historians of all stripes. As the story goes, the 1939 Guide was reprinted in 1943 at the request of US Army to help soldiers find their way around Normandy beaches during the Allied landings along the French northern coast.
The Michelin Guides rare collection is estimated to fetch between $22,476 and $33,711. It will be on public display at Christie’s for those of you interested in window shopping before the auction.