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Alexandre Brongniart
BRONGNIART, Alexandre.

BRONGNIART, Alexandre.
(1770 - 1847)

(Born: Paris, France, 5 February 1770; Died: Paris, France, 7 October 1847) French geologist & mineralogist.

Alexandre was the brother of the famous French biologist, Adolphe-Theodore [1801-1876]. As a student, Brongniart had studied chemistry with A. Lavoisier. In 1794, he graduated with a degree in mine engineering. He was appointed a professor of the Société Gymnastíque from 1787 to 1794. From 1797, he was also a professor at the École Centrale, Collège des Quatre Nations. In 1800, he accepted the directorship of a porcelain factory in Sèvres, France. While there, he helped develop the science of ceramic chemistry. From 1818, Brongniart was the chief engineer of mines for the French nation.

Biographical references: ABF: I 158, 164-171, 173-175; II 103, 152. Barr, Index to Biographical Fragments, 1973: 35. Cleevely, World Palæontological Collections, 1983: 68. DBF: 7, cols. 419-20 [by J. Silvestre de Sacy]. DSB: 2, 493-7 [by M.J.S. Rudwick]. ISIS, 1913-65: 1, 195. Lambrecht & Quenstedt, Catalogus, 1938: 61. Poggendorff: 1, col. 306. Sarjeant, Geologists, 1980: 2, 627. Thomas, Dictionary of Biography, 1884: 439. WBI. World Who's Who in Science: 248.

Traité Élémentaire de Minéralogie, 1807

1. French, 1807 [First edition].
Traité | Élémentaire | De | Minéralogie, Avec Des Applications Aux Arts; | Ouvrage Destiné A L'Enseignement | Dans Les Lycées Nationaux. | Par Alexandre Brongniart, | Ingénieur des Mines, Directeur de la Manufacture impériale | de Porcelaine de Sèvres. | Tome Premier [-Seconde]. | [tapered rule] | De L'Imprimerie De Crapelet. | A Paris, | Chez Deterville, Libraire, rue Hautefeuille, n° 8, | au coin de celle des Poitevins. | 1807.

2 vols. [Vol 1] 8°: π6 A-Z8 2A-2N8; 288l.; [i]-xij, [1]-564 p.; [Vol 2] 8°: π2 A-Z8 2A-2D8 2E6; 224l.; [4], [1]-443, [1] errata p., 16 engraved plates printed on 15 foldingl. Page size: 194 x 120 mm.

Contents: [Vol 1] [i-ii], Half title page, "Traité | Élémentaire | De | Mineralogié," verso blank.; [iii]-iv, Title page, verso blank.; [v]-xij, "Préface."; [1]-564, Text.

[Vol 2] [2 pgs], Half title page, "Traité | Élémentaire | De | Mineralogié," verso blank.; [2 pgs], Title page, verso blank.; [1]-406, Text.; [407]-420, "Explication Des Planches."; [421]-443, "Table."; [1 pg], "Errata."; [At end], 16 plates on 15 folding leaves.

Plates: Depictions on the 16 plates include apparatus, crystal drawings and diagrams, geological cross sections, mining equipment and building plans. The plates are signed in a fashion similiar to Siadenier's sc.

Scarce. Brongniart's Traité was the product of a commission to prepare a text for use in the mineralogical courses taught by René Just Haüy and the author at the Faculté des Sciences and the Muséum d'Histoire Naturelle. For this purpose, the author created a simple classification system based primarily on physical properties, but also influenced by Haüy's crystallographic theories. Brongniart insisted that studying how minerals occurred as well as their properties would lead to a better understanding of their origin. The work is largely directed to economic aspects of the science. The introduction is a thorough treatment of mineralogical principles, which is followed by an overview of the classification scheme, a table of the same and a detailed descriptive mineralogy that extends to the second volume.

Bibliographical references: Agassiz, Bibliographia Geologiæ, 1848-54: 1, 442, no. 37. Beekman, Systematische Mineralogie, 1906: 120. Dana's 7th (Bibliography): 68. DSB: 2, 494 [by M.J.S. Rudwick]. Freilich Sale Catalog: no. 99. Hoover Collection: no. 170. Lambrecht & Quenstedt, Catalogus, 1938: pp. 60-1. LKG: XII 228. Norman Catalog: 1, 351. NUC: 77, 534-6 [NB 0835185]. Roller & Goodman, Catalogue, 1976: 1, 171. Sinkankas, Gemology Bibliography, 1993: no. 953.

2. French, 1827.
Classification | Et | Caractères Minéralogiques | Des Roches | Homogènes et Hétérogènes. | Par | Alexandre Brongniart, | Membre De L'Académie Royale Des Sciences. | [ornament] | A Paris, | Chez F.G. Levrault, rue de la Harpe, n.o 81, | et rue des Juiss, n.o 33, à Strasbourg. | 1827.

8°: [2], [1]-144 p.

Contents: [2 pgs], Title page, verso blank.; [1]-140, Text.; 141, "Table Des Matières."; 142-144, "Table Alphabétique Des Noms."

Very scarce. An early mineralogical classification and description of rocks according to Abraham Gottlob Werner's theories. In this work, Brongniart first proposed the word "melaphyre" for one type of basalt.

Bibliographical references: NUC: 77, 534-6 [NB 0835149]. Roller & Goodman, Catalogue, 1976: 1, 171. Zittel, History of Geology, 1901: p. 727.

Tableau, 1833

3. French, 1833.
Tableau | De La Distribution Méthodigue | Des Espèces Minérales, | Suivie | Dans Le Cours De Minéralogie | Fait Au Muséum Royal D'Histoire Naturelle, | En 1833, | Par M. Alexandre Brongniart, Professeur. | Présentant | Leur Nomenclature Univoque Ou Linnéenne, | Et | Leur Nomenclature Caractéristique Ou Définition, | Tirée | de leur Composition Définie | et de leur Forme Fondamentale. | [ornate rule] | Paris. | A La Librairie Encyclopédique De Roret | Rue Hautefeuille, N° 10 Bis. | [rule] | 1833.

8°: [1]-46, [2] p. Page size: 215 x 146 mm.

Contents: [1-2], Title page, verso "Imprimé Chez Paul Renouard, Rue Garencière, N. 5."; [3]-10, "Exposé Des Principes | Sur Lesquels Est Fondée | La Classification Adoptée Dans Ce Tableau."; [11]-46, "Tableau | Méthodique Et Caractéristique | Des Espèces Minérales."; [1 pg], Errata.; [1 pg], Blank.

Very scarce. Provides a general theory for the principles used in classifing mineral species. It is a further expose first proposed in the author's Traité de Minéralogie (Paris, 1807).

Bibliographical references: Dana's 7th (Bibliography): 68.

Introduction a la Minéralogie, 1825

4. French, 1825 [First separate issue].
Introduction | A | La Minéralogie, | Ou | Exposé | Des Principes De Cette Science | Et De Certaines Propriétés Des Minéraux, | Considérées Principalement Dans La Valeur Qu'on Peut | Leur Attribuer Comme Caractères; | Par Alexandre Brongniart, | Membre De L'Académie Des Sciences. | (Article inséré dans le tome XXXI du Dictionnaire des Sciences | naturelles, au mot Minéralogie.) | Léimpression de l'édition de 1824, sans changemens. | [ornament] | Paris, | F.G. Leveault, libraire-éditeur, rue de la Harpe, n.° 81. | 1825.

8°: 159 p., 2 plates. "Article insere dans le tome XXXI du Dictionnaire des Sciences naturelles, au mot Mineralogie."

Very scarce. Separate printing of the mineralogy article published in volume 31 of the Dictionnaire des Sciences Naturelles (Paris, 1824). It is a comprehensive introduction to the science.

Bibliographical references: Roller & Goodman, Catalogue, 1976: 1, 171. Ward & Carozzi, Geology Emerging, 1984: no. 337.

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