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Two letters about the bequest of the collection Gaudion

Commandant Gaudion (1828–1902) was a patron for the Muséum d’histoire naturelle de Marseille. He brought together an important zoological collections from the Mediterannean area, therefore his name was inscribed on the marble plate of donators. Both his collection and books (Gaudion did not live in the city but in Béziers, and he needed an extensive library was required to determine what he collected) were given to the Museum of Marseille, for a total value of 10,000 French francs (in 1915).

Here shown are two letters [1] dated July 20, 1911 and November 30, 1911 concerning the bequest of the conchological collection of Gaudion.

Numériser 3

These letters were written by Vayssière, director of the Museum d’Histoire naturelle de Marseille to Mrs Gaudion about the legacy of her husband. From the letters it becomes clear that the collection (in 1911, nine years after the death of Gaudion) was almost completly arranged by Martial Couturier; he was another French conchologist and assistant-curator at the Muséum of Marseille. Vayssière proposed to return to Gaudion’s widow, a box with duplicates from his collection, which was not required by the Museum. The second letter in November specifically dealt with the adminitrative problem to extract from the legacy the series of duplicates which remained in Béziers. The words “installation de la salle Gaudion” (in Béziers) could refer to a project to create a litte room with Gaudion’s specimens, maybe at the Société d’étude des sciences naturelles de Béziers, which became Musée du Biterrois.

References:
Fischer H. 1903. [Nécrologie]. H. Gaudion. Journal de Conchyliologie 51: 91–92.
Vayssière A. 1903. Notice biographique sur Henri Gaudion (1828-1902). Annales du Muséum d’Histoire naturelle de Marseille 8: 16–13, 1 pl. (portrait).
Vayssière A. 1915. Rapport sur la section de zoologie du Muséum. Annales du Muséum d’Histoire naturelle de Marseille 15: 3–7.

Note:
[1] Audibert C., private collection.