- Place of Use Continent - North America, Country - Canada, Province / Territory - Quebec
- Category Communication artifacts
- Sub-category Ceremonial artifact
- Department History
- Museum CMH
- Earliest 1811/01/01
- Latest 1819/12/31
- Inscription (on token/sur le jeton) Northumberland & Durham XXX Pence Token 1811
- Materials Silver
- Measurements Height 53.4 cm, Width 13.3 cm
- Related activity Silversmithing
- Caption The Priest
Having completed studies at a classical college and then at a seminary, the parish priest joins the doctor, notary, and lawyer as one of the best educated residents in the village. In fact, in smaller communities without these other professionals, the "curé" may sometimes be required to fulfill their roles as best he can. Except in areas where the soil is poor and the climate harsh, the priest enjoys a relatively comfortable living, because his main source of income is the tithe, a payment equal to one-twenty-sixth of the value of a farmer's harvest. He supplements this revenue with the fees he earns performing marriages, burials and special masses, and with the allowance he receives from the government for submitting the annual figures of births, marriages and deaths. The priest's household typically includes a housekeeper who cleans and prepares meals, and, if the parish is sufficiently large and well-off, an assistant who helps him complete parish duties.
The responsibilities of the priest do not simply revolve around celebrating Sunday mass and delivering the sermon, although these are his most public functions. Aside from conducting baptisms, marriages and burials, he also instructs the young about the teachings of the Church; and visits the sick and dying. He also distributes charity among the needy and well-deserving and, at least once a year, he visits each of his parishioners. By supporting collective activities that encourage religious devotion or mutual aid societies, and also agricultural groups that promote economic self-reliance, he promotes the religious and social welfare of the parish.
- Caption Monstrance, early 19th century. Made in Quebec by François-Ignace Ranvoyzé (1739-1819)
- Additional Information The central glass aperture of the monstrance is designed to hold and display the Host, a wafer that is consecrated and used in the celebration of the Eucharist (communion). The "tradesman's token" included in the stem was produced by a silversmith in Newcastle-upon-Tyne, England. How it came to be used in the monstrance remains a mystery. It may have been brought to Canada by an immigrant, and the Canadian silversmith, lacking local silver, took advantage of what was available.
- Caption Ranvoyzé and the Monstrance
- Additional Information François-Ignace Ranvoyzé was born in Quebec City in 1739. He worked as a locksmith from 1768 to 1771. His earliest recorded work as a silversmith was 1771 (Notre-Dame church.) / The monstrance has been described as the largest and most elaborate piece of silver used in the Roman Catholic Church ritual. The term derives from the Latin "monstrare" which means "to show" and is given to an expository receptacle for a large Eucharistic wafer which is placed in the lunette at the centre of the sunburst. The whole is designed so that the wafer can be elevated vertically and thus can be easily viewed by devotees. The monstrance resembles a reliquary and the wafer is exhibited in the manner of a relic. The rays of the soleil represent the glory of the divine presence in the Eucharist. The tongues of fire may be intended to symbolize the Holy Ghost. / The tradesman's token forming the base of the baluster in this monstrance is interesting. It was issued in 1811 by John Robertson, a silversmith in Newcastle-on-Tyne, from dies engraved by Peter Wyon, at a time when there was a shortage in regal coinage in England. In November 1811, a group of 118 individuals and firms issued a "Caution to the Public against taking Local Silver Tokens" in which they stated that they would "not receive, in Payment, any Tokens which may be issued either by the said Mr. John Robertson, or by any other Individual whatever." In May, 1812, John Robertson took out an advertisement in the "Tyne Mercury" to refute charges made against him that same week, that he would not be responsible for tokens issued by him. He commented on reports that the assayed weight of the tokens was lower than should be and he assured "the Public that the Statement contained in that Advertisement is a gross Misrepresentation and calculated to mislead the public." An item in the London Gazette of Feb. 20, 1821 indicates that John Robertson, silversmith, was declared bankrupt. / How the token came to be in the baluster stem of this monstrance can only be speculated. Perhaps some English immigrant, unable to redeem it in Newcastle-on-Tyne, brought it over to Canada, feeling it represented some small wealth, being silver after all. And Canadian silversmiths, lacking locally mined silver for their goods, were anxious to acquire any silver available (idea from J. Graham Esler, Chief Curator, Bank of Canada Museum). Another thought (from Christine Grant, Acting Curator of Collections, History Division) is that a monstrance was commissioned to be a certain weight and the token was included to bring it up to that weight. / The date of 1811 places this monstrance in the last eight years of Ranvoyzé's life. He died in 1819, aged 79. / The syle of the monstrance is somewhat different from the usual style of this maker and of others. Although Ranvoyzé favoured the alternating wavy and straight rays in the sunburst, none of the other monstrances made by him, illustrated in "Francois Ranvoyzé, orfèvre" shows the rays contained by a frame of any kind. / The latch holding the catch closed is surely a replacement and the small blob of silver on the back of the sunburst could indicate something was removed. Perhaps the catch closed with a pin on a chain originally. / Other items made by Ranvoyzé with the same papyrus/acanthus motif, and illlustrated in "Francois Ranvoyzé, orfèvre" are a holy water bucket (stoup, aspersorium) at the Seminaire de Québec and a sanctuary lamp made in 1779 at la Fabrique de L'Islet, as well as some others with an even further stylized version of this motif.