This snuffbox has a long history. Its first owner was Father Jacques Lebourdais-Lapierre (1783-1860), son of Geneviève Victoire Panet and Joseph Lebourdais-Lapierre, a merchant.

Formerly the priest of Louiseville (1813-1855), Father Lebourdais had commissioned this snuffbox from a goldsmith in Paris, specifying that he wanted the item as well as the drawings that would be engraved on it to be produced by taking inspiration from the foliage, the flower, or the favourite fruit of Lebourdais, a big fan of melon.

The result is a magnificent jewel of goldsmithery that is quite unique, with its rounded shapes, its finely chiselled edges, its lid that still closes tightly, and its gilded base, which is also engraved with the same themes.

Upon Father Lebourdais’ death on September 23, 1860, in Louiseville, where he had retired, Father Joachim Boucher, the parish priest (1856-1890), received the snuffbox. Father Boucher died in turn in 1897. The snuffbox was part of his estate, and his will stipulated that it must return to his godson, Father Joachim Caron, who was at that time vicar of the parish of Saint-Stanislas-de-Champlain (1896-1900).

Father Caron passed the snuffbox on to Canon Louis (-Félix Richer-) Laflèche, born in Louiseville in 1861, who had been a teacher at the Séminaire Saint-Joseph in Trois-Rivières (1888-1893) and, from 1899, founding priest of the parish of Saint-Paul-de-Grand’Mère, where he remained a priest until his death in 1926.

It was Father Arthur Brunelle, at that time vicar in Saint-Paul-de-Grand’Mère, who would become its owner through inheritance. Then, in 1927, Father Brunelle was appointed parish priest of Saint-Lazare in Cap-de-la-Madeleine (a city now attached to Trois-Rivières). He donated this precious object to the Musée Pierre-Boucher in 1931.

Donation from Father Arthur Brunelle
Musée Pierre-Boucher Collection
1977 98 O