The Mineralogical Record
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Pierre Buc'hoz
(1731-1807)

Pierre Joseph Buc'hoz was born in Metz, France in 1731, the son of a middle-class attorney. He was at first persuaded to follow his father's profession, and embarked on a career in law, passing the bar at Pont-à-Moussen in 1750. However, he did not find that profession agreeable, and after some time he moved to Nancy where he took up the study of medicine, a field more closely related to his passion for natural history. He graduated with his medical degree in 1763 and received a prestigious appointment as physician to King Stanislaus of Poland. He was accused of not fulfilling his duties, however, and quit to devote his energies to the study of botany, medicine, economics and mineralogy, eventually publishing over 300 volumes on these subjects. His works include a mineralogy of France, and Wallerius Lotharingiae (1769), a review of the minerals, rocks and fossils of his native Lorraine, organized more or less according to the system of Wallerius. He was also an artist, and many of the botanical illustrations in his books were derived from his own sketches. Unfortunately his writing and research were hastily assembled, prone to errors and free of any real contributions to scientific knowledge. Nevertheless he produced some of the few color-plate mineralogical works of the 18th century.

Pierre Buc'hoz' most important works in mineralogy were his Planches Enluminées…les Animaux, le Vegetaux et les Minéraux, issued in parts from 1776 to 1781 (reissued with new title pages in 1778-1782), and Les Dons Merveilleux…dans le Règne Minéraux, issued from 1782 to 1797. The two works have 60 plates in common (reproduced here from a very rare copy in the Mineralogical Record Library), and 40 new plates were added to the second series for a total of 100. Unreserved praise must go to the numerous artists and engravers who produced Buc'hoz' plates, foremost among them being Jean Baptiste Desmoulins (b. 1740), as well as Jean Charles Baquoy (1721-1777), Jean Victor Dupin (b. 1718), Claude Mathieu Fessard (1740->1803), Jacques Juillet and Jacques de Favanne (1716-1770). Jacques de Favanne was a French draftsman and engraver from Paris. He was the son of the French painter Henri-Antoine de Favanne and a student of F. Thomassin.

After Buc'hoz had lost his wife and suffered the calamities of the French Revolution, he was taken in by a woman who had worked for him for 25 years as a colorist. He died in poverty in Paris in 1807.

W.E.W.

Reference:
Wilson, W. E., and Schuh, C. (2001) Introduction to the new edition, with biographical notes on the author and his works, in Buc'hoz, P. J., The Marvellous Gifts of Nature, diversely colored, in the Mineral Kingdom… (1782). New edition published by the Mineralogical Record, Tucson, pages 5-11.

Click on thumbnail picture to see larger image.
Number of artworks found: 24 | Artworks being viewed: 17 to 24

The Mineralogical Record: Pierre Buc'hoz - Flos Ferri Aragonite from Ste-Marie-aux-Mines, France Flos Ferri Aragonite from Ste-Marie-aux-Mines, France
Hand-colored copper-plate engraving (1776), depicting natural-size a 7-inch specimen from an unspecified collection. Painted by G. de Favanne and engraved by Dupin; published as Decade 6, Plate 5, Figure 10 in Buc'hoz'Premiere Centurie de Planches Enluminées...
The Mineralogical Record: Pierre Buc'hoz - Smoky Quartz from Dauphiné, France Smoky Quartz from Dauphiné, France
Hand-colored copper-plate engraving (1778), depicting natural-size a 11.6-inch specimen from the collection of Pierre Buc'hoz. Published (unsigned) as Century 2, Decade 3, Plate 2 in Buc'hoz'Seconde Centurie de Planches Enluminées...
The Mineralogical Record: Pierre Buc'hoz - Siderite from France (?) Siderite from France (?)
Hand-colored copper-plate engraving (1778), depicting natural-size a 3.4-inch specimen from an unspecified collection. Published (unsigned) as Century 2, Decade 6, Plate 4, Figure 8 in Buc'hoz'Seconde Centurie de Planches Enluminées...
The Mineralogical Record: Pierre Buc'hoz - Cobaltite (from Germany?) Cobaltite (from Germany?)
Hand-colored copper-plate engraving (1778), depicting natural-size a 3-inch specimen from an unspecified collection. Published (unsigned) as Century 2, Decade 6, Plate 4, Figure 9 in Buc'hoz'Seconde Centurie de Planches Enluminées...
The Mineralogical Record: Pierre Buc'hoz - Proustite from Annaberg, Saxony Proustite from Annaberg, Saxony
Hand-colored copper-plate engraving (1778), depicting natural-size a 1.8-inch specimen from an unspecified collection. Published (unsigned) as Century 2, Decade 6, Plate 4, Figure 5 in Buc'hoz'Seconde Centurie de Planches Enluminées...
The Mineralogical Record: Pierre Buc'hoz - Quartz on Chlorargyrite Quartz on Chlorargyrite
Hand-colored copper-plate engraving (1778), depicting natural-size a 2.6-inch specimen from an unspecified collection. Published (unsigned) as Century 2, Decade 6, Plate 4, Figure 6 in Buc'hoz'Seconde Centurie de Planches Enluminées...
The Mineralogical Record: Pierre Buc'hoz - Kermesite from Germany (?) Kermesite from Germany (?)
Hand-colored copper-plate engraving (1776), depicting natural-size a 3.2-inch specimen from an unspecified collection. Published (unsigned) as Century 1, Decade 6, Plate 5, Figure 9 in Buc'hoz'Premiere Centurie de Planches Enluminées...
The Mineralogical Record: Pierre Buc'hoz - Malachite-Coated Native Copper from Hungary Malachite-Coated Native Copper from Hungary
Hand-colored copper-plate engraving (1776), depicting natural-size a 3-inch specimen from an unspecified collection. Published (unsigned) as Century 1, Decade 6, Plate 4, Figure 4 in Buc'hoz'Premiere Centurie de Planches Enluminées...
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