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Head to Paris in December and you could grab yourself a comprehensive slice of Michelin history: not at a fancy new restaurant, but at an auction house.
On 5 December, Christie’s in Paris will be auctioning a complete set of Michelin Guides, covering the years 1900 to 2016 – 108 in total. For those who don’t know, tyre manufacturers André and Édouard Michelin published the first Michelin Guide in 1900 to encourage the limited number of French motorists at the time to travel to culinary destinations and, well, buy more tyres. The famous three star rating system was introduced in 1931.
Publication was suspended during the First World War, but a standout item from the lot at Christie’s is an edition from 1939, reprinted by the US military in 1943, ahead of the Normandy invasion.
The current guide price is 20 to 30k (euros), the kind of price that would take repeated visits to the most eye wateringly expensive Guide restaurants to rack up, but as a piece of culinary history, this lot is three star.