Simon-Suzanne-Nérée Boubée was born in Toulouse, France on May 12, 1806, the son of Rose Bonnin and Joseph Boubée. He became a highly respected naturalist, geologist, author and lecturing professor at the University of Paris. With the help of his young future brother-in-law, a naturalist named Arthur Éloffe, he helped found a natural history supply house in Paris in 1845, under the name Éloffe & Compagnie, dealing in "rocks, minerals, fossils, plants, etc." Soon shells and birds were added before the "etc." and he also manufactured microscopes that carry his imprint.
Although the Boubée name does not appear on the Éloffe labels, the labels for his successor company (called the Comptoir Central d'Histoire Naturelle, under his son E. Boubée) stated that it was: "Maison fondée par Nérée Boubée en 1845 sous la raison sociale Éloffe & Cie." -- "The house founded by Nérée Boubée in 1845 under the corporate name of Éloffe & Company."
In 1852 Boubée married his partner's sister, Jeanne-Victorine-Hyacinthe Éloffe.
Nérée Boubée published several works on his own, including Géologie élémentaire à la portée de tout le monde (1833), in which he postulated a "deluge of cometary origin."
The Éloffe & Compagnie partnership was dissolved in 1857, and the partners went their separate ways. The company, still as Éloffe & Compagnie, continued under Nérée Boubée at no. 10 rue École-de-Médecine, while Arthur Éloffe started a competing operation right next door at no. 20 rue École-de-Médecine, called Chez Éloffe. After Nérée died on August 2, 1862 (in his home town of Luchon, where he was buried), the company was operated for several years by his widow, the former Jeanne Eloffe (1828-1888). She was adamant about retaining the Éloffe & Compagnie name (it was, after all, her maiden name) and remaining proudly distinct in the public eye from the upstart operation of her brother Arthur next door; in fact, she sued Didot, the publisher of the city directory, in 1867 for listing her simply as the "widow of Nérée Boubée," insisting instead on "Eloffe et Cie. (Veuve [widow] Boubée-Nérée, École-de-médecine, 10)."
Éloffe & Compagnie was subsequently inherited by Nérée and Jeanne's son, Ernest Victor Bernard Boubée (born December 6, 1845). Ernest continued under the Éloffe & Compagnie name for some time, but eventually renamed the company as the Comptoir Central d'Histoire Naturelle and moved the headquarters, from the rue École-de-Médecine to the Place St-Andrés-des-Artes at some time before 1890 (perhaps following his mother's death in 1888).
Ernest Boubée, having virtually grown up in the natural history business, billed himself as a "naturalist" and as the successor to the Éloffe Company. He was a meticulous cataloger, and his labels commonly include lengthy inscriptions describing the specimen. By 1937, however, his mineral sales had declined to almost nothing. Most of his personal collection was sold to the Sorbonne. Wanting to clear out his remaining study-grade mineral stock, he made an arrangement with mineral dealer Fred Cassirer for Cassirer to help him sell his remaining minerals to American buyers and split the profits. In that way many Boubée specimens came to the United States.
When Ernest Boubée died some time before 1945 the firm was taken over by the grandson, Nérée Boubée II, who renamed the company after himself, "N. Boubée," and greatly expanded the science publishing branch. He died in the 1960s. A label exists (the last one shown here) showing that Nérée Boubée II moved the company to 87, rue Monge (in 1958), and changed the company name (at least temporarily) to "Laboratoire Européen de Sciences Naturelles." The Société Nouvelle des Editions Nérée Boubée still exists today, at the rue Monge address, and also at 9 rue de Savoie, in Paris.
(See also Arthur Éloffe.)
VIAL, G. (2008) Nérée Boubée. Wikipedia.
please E-mail us at:
[Citation format for this entry:
WILSON, Wendell E. (2017)
Biographical Archive, at www.mineralogicalrecord.com.]
|Click on thumbnail picture to see larger image.|
Number of labels found: 18 | Labels being viewed: 17 to 18
||46 x 70 mm,|
N. Boubée label, dated 1910.
||50 x 72 mm,|
N. Boubée label for the Laboratoire Europeen d'Histoire Naturelle on the rue Monge.