QUEBEC 1889 St Jean de Baptiste 29.9mm silver (off metal) 9.78 grams with integral loop (Leroux 1746, Charlton 2865-95)
This metal has been XRF tested and has a silver content, hence it may be unique. The Charlton catalogue lists it only in white metal with a weight of 16.9 to 17.2 grams. Even in white metal it is possibly scarcer that the rarity 4 rating that Leroux gave it. The 1988 Jeffrey Hoare Torex Auction #6 had an example (lot 626), but the only recent examples of it being offered were in the 2017 and 2019 as part of the Seminary collections by Champagne Auctions.
The sculptor of the monument was Joseph-Arthur Vincent, a sculptor in wood and modeller, who learned sculpting in the Montréal studio of Charles-Olivier Dauphin from 1865 to 1870. After spending ten years at the Ernest Chanteloup foundry as an artist-designer, Vincent opened his studio in 1879.
The monument serves as the focal point of Parc Saint-Henri, the monument-fountain is situated in the centre of a pool and stands on an octagonal base decorated with bulrushes. On the base sit four large basins alternating with four small columns topped with cups with fountain jets. In the centre, four beavers hug the base of the pedestal. The top part of the monument has three sections. The bottom one is adorned with foliage branches knotted together with a ribbon and heads of Aboriginals. The middle one bears inscriptions relating episodes in Cartier’s career. The top one is pierced with an opening for the mouth of a large fountain jet. On top of the monument is the sculpture of Cartier, portrayed as a valiant explorer, wearing a cap and the cape and baggy knickers that were in style during the reign of Francis I. His right hand rests on his sword belt and his raised left arm points west. At his feet is a tree stump, the symbol of a country to be cleared.