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TARDIEU, Ambroise.

(1788 – 1841)

(Born: Paris, France, 2 March 1788; Died: Paris, France, 17 January 1841) French engraver.

Ambroise was born into a family with a tradition of fine engraving, and from this connection he early on became a pupil of his uncle, the famed French engraver, Pierre Alexandre Tardieu [1756-1844]. After exhibiting talent in the field, Ambroise followed in the family vocation becoming well known as an engraver of portraits. He also received an appointment as geographical engraver for the French goverment, a position that carried a small yearly stipend. To supplement the meager income of this postion, he began a trade in prints, books and maps. Today, he is best rememebered for the over 800 engraved portraits produced during his career, many of which render famous scientists from that period.

Biographical references: ABF: I 978, 91-94. Bryan's Dictionary of Painters, 1903-4: 5, 152. Biographie Universelle: 44, 874-5. Nouvelle Biographie Générale (Hoefer). Thieme & Becker, Allgemeines Lexikon, 1907-50: 32, 443. WBI.

1. French, 1825.
Entreiens | Sur | La Minéralogie, | D'Après La Méthode | Du Célèbre Haüy; | Accompagnés De Son Portrait Et De 23 Planches, | Par Ambroise Tardieu. | [ornament] | Paris, | Boulland Et Cie, Libraires-Éditeurs, | Palais-Royal, Galeries De Bois, N° 254. | [ornate rule] | 1825.

8°: [i]-viij, [1]-528 p., frontispiece (line portrait of Haüy), 12 folding plates. Page size: 175 x 100 mm.

Contents: [i-ii], Half title page, "Entretiens | sur | La Minéralogie," verso "Imprimerie De Huzard-Courcier. | Rue du Jardinet, N° 12."; [Frontispiece, engraved line drawing of René Just Haüy]; [iii-iv], Title page, verso blank.; [v]-viij, "Table Des Matières."; [1]-487, Text.; [488], Blank.; 489-516, "Table Analytique | Des Minéraux | Contenus Dans Cet Ouvrage."; [517]-528, "Table Alphabétique."; [At end], 12 folding plates.

Very rare. A derivative work following closely the theories of René Just Haüy. The volume begins with a description of mineralogy and crystallography, including discussions of goniometers. It continues with descriptions of various minerals arranged according to Haüy's classification scheme, and concludes with a section on minerals of economic importance. Plates 1-3 show various apparatus, 4-11 are of crystal drawings and plate 12 depicts various mineral specimens in an uncolored reengraved version of the frontispiece from Delvalle Lowry's Conversations on Mineralogy (1st ed., London, 1822). Although the title calls for 23 plates, the work appears to have been completed after only twelve plates because on the reverse of plate 12 is the note "Finis."This curious text-book for french youth has been written in a dialogue form between Mme de Beaumont, Gustave and Caroline and treats all kinds of minerals in 16 chapters. This Mme de Beaumont may well be the wife of the famous Elie de Beaumont.

Bibliographical references: BL [no copy listed]. NUC: 583, 155 [NT 0038620].