This thurible, bearing the hallmark of the goldsmith Ranvoyzé, comes from the parish of Saint-Antoine-de-la-Rivière-du-Loup (Saint-Antoine-de-Padoue) in the municipality of Louiseville, Quebec.

A first wooden chapel (1705) could be found halfway between the village and Lac Saint-Pierre even before the parish was established in 1722.

From 1804 onward, a stone church could be found in the heart of the village. This church contains precious souvenirs from the old temple previously served by the Recollects. Father Augustin Quintal, who would later become parish priest in Trois-Rivières, had been a missionary there. One of the parish priests was Father Joachim Boucher—the same one who had Father LeBourdais’ snuffbox in his possession.

However, this stone church was demolished in 1916 after a long past dear to many. In a speech delivered during the awarding of prizes to students of the Académie de Louiseville on June 27, 1916, the Inspector General of Catholic Schools, C. J. Magnan, recalls that, while acting as mass server, he accompanied Msgr. Joachim Boucher, who, during certain ceremonies, offered incense to the people, possibly using this thurible.

As for the third church, built between 1917 and 1921 by Joseph Couture, a contractor from Lévis, it was ravaged by a fire barely five years after the work had been completed. A few objects of worship such as this one would have undoubtedly been saved from the disaster. The object also seems to have suffered from such a scourge. Father Louis-Arthur Lévêque-Dusablon, who was parish priest there, was in charge of the reconstruction. A fourth church took shape, but due to a lack of financial means, it remained without interior decoration until 1952.

In 1895, Father Dusablon became the very first curator of the Séminaire Saint-Joseph museum duly appointed by the authorities. He remained in that position until September 1902. Recognized for his taste for antique objects and the importance that he placed on the preservation of heritage, Dusablon had probably recovered this thurible, which may no longer have been resplendent enough to be used in worship again. This thurible from Ranvoyzé was therefore possibly donated to the Musée Pierre-Boucher by the estate of Father Dusablon, who died in 1930.

With respect to the artist, François Ranvoyzé, he was born in Quebec City in 1739. Many believe that he did his apprenticeship with the goldsmith Ignace-François Delezenne, which he completed in 1760 or 1761. The two goldsmiths were partners and friends. Delezenne stood in for François’ father when the latter married Marie-Vénérance Pèlerin in 1771, and the master was chosen as the godfather to the Ranvoyzés’ first-born child.

Ranvoyzé’s social life seems to have been limited to his involvement as churchwarden of the Fabrique Notre-Dame de Québec. However, in 1795, he joined six other goldsmiths to challenge a law regulating the use of forge fires, which are essential for goldsmiths.

François Ranvoyzé died in 1819.

Musée Pierre-Boucher Collection
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