Roger Titeux, long-time French mineral dealer, was born in 1913. He had been a teacher in his first career, then spent some years as a bookseller before developing a passion for mineralogy and mineral collecting. He first became interested in minerals in 1952, when he came across some crystals while hiking in the mountains. Struck with fascination, he decided to learn all he could about them, and used Lacroix's Minéralogie de la France (1893-1913) as his "bible." Soon he was teaching himself chemistry and then crystallography, a subject which he found difficult but most appealing.
Roger's specialty was the minerals of France, and he field-collected extensively at French localities in the Alps and in Dauphiné. But as a dealer his interests were world-wide; he traveled regularly on buying trips to Brazil and collected in the field there as well. He began selling his extra specimens at shows in the 1960s, and developed an interest in cut stones for collectors.
Roger was well-known and respected for his mineralogical and gemological knowledge, his willingness to help collectors (especially beginners and young collectors), and his good business reputation. He was a remarkable man in many ways, able to calculate cube roots in his head faster than a hand-calculator, and famous for his "Titeux quiche" recipe. He was passionate about music as well as mineralogy, and saw a parallelism of harmony and structure between the two subjects—"mineralogy is like the music of Bach and Mozart, solidified," he once said. Though less well known in America, he was a legend in France and helped to enrich the collections of many museums and private collectors there. He died in Vallauris, France on November 2, 2009.
WILSON, W. E. (2010) Notes from the Editor: Roger Titeux, 96. Mineralogical Record, 41 (2), 120.
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