Origami Heaven

A paperfolding paradise

The website of writer and paperfolding designer David Mitchell


L'Escole parfaite des officiers de bouche, 1662
'L'Escole parfaite des officiers de bouche; contenant le vray maistre-d'hotel, le grand escuyer tranchant, le sommelier royal, le confituriern royal, le cuisinier royal et le patissier royal' was published by J Ribou in Paris in 1662. The chapter on the duties of the sommelier royal contains information about napkin / serviette folding.

A full copy of the work can be accessed here. The pages relating to the folding of serviettes are reproduced below.

An English paraphrase, attributed to Giles Rose, was published by R Bentley and M Magnes in London in 1682. I have included some extracts from the paraphrase here. Full information about the paraphrase can be found on its own, separate page.

The original work contains:

In the chapter about the duties of the Sommelier Royal

On page 79 (incorrectly numbered 76 in the book) the contents of a basket which the Sommelier Royal is to bring to the table includes 'les serviettes, dont au moins il y en aura deux pieces en baston rompu', which Rose translates as 'Napkins, of which two at the least folded in the fashion of a broken staff'.

At the end of page 81 and the beginning of page 82 the author states '& sur chaque pile une serviette plie en baston rompu' which Rose translates as 'and upon each pile of Plates a Napkin folded in baston rompu, or broken staff'.

In both cases the translator seems to have misread 'baston' as 'baton.' In the opening paragraph of the extracts from Rose shown below 'bastonner' is translated as pleat, and this makes much more sense.


In the chapter about serviette folding

This chapter begins with three sections which explain the folding process. Rose paraphrases them as:


The author then dscribes how to use these techniques to fold serviettes into: