QUEBEC, Montreal Civic Library Inaugurated by H.J. Tiffin - Chateau de Ramezay. 1896. 50mm copper medal 62.73 grams (Leroux 1612c, Breton 168, Charlton 1595-15-2)
Obverse H. J. Tiffin facing left, CIVIC LIBRARY INAUGURATED BY H.J. TIFFIN 1896 / GD
Reverse: Chateau de Ramezay, CHATEAU DE RAMEZAY / MUSEUM AND LIBRARY / 1705 - 1896 / JOHNSON MILANO
At the time of his death in March 1903 the Numismatic and Antiquarian Society of Montreal passed a Resolution of Regret in emergency meeting of the organization, “That the Numismatic and Antiquarian Society of Montreal desires to record its deep regret on the occasion of the death of the late Mr. Henry James Tiffin, who as vice president since 1895, and life governor since 1897, was a warm friend of all its undertakings, and a genial associate among its members. The handsome library of several thousand well selected volumes, which he donated to the society for the use of the public, together with numerous other gifts, constitute a substantial memorial of his public spirit. That a copy of this resolution be transmitted to his family, and that the society attend his funeral in a body”
Tiffin’s donations were of major importance to the Chateau de Ramezay. The building was for sale. In a motion made by R. W. McLachlan in 1893 “that a committee be appointed to interview the provincial government, with a view of securing the postponement of the sale of the Chateau de Ramezay until such time as plans be altered so as to leave the building undisturbed by the proposed improvement to the lane there”. Tiffin made the proposal for the free library, reading rooms and the museum, and donated much of the library.
Stefano Johnson started working as a medallist in 1836 and struck his first medal in the Milanese workshop of his father, Giacomo Johnson; Giacomo had recently moved from Birmingham, England after a brief period of activity in Lyon, France. Stefano's son Federico Johnson, employed medallists from the Milan Mint (closed 1887) and producing medals himself to commemorate Italian historical events, religious events, industrial, commercial and financial activity; products were exported by his son Stefano Johnson II and his grandson Cesare Johnson. Not your typical manufacturer of a Canadian medal, another one that comes to mind that was completed by Johnson was the Montreal Laval University Leroux 1840