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MORAND, PAUL (called Hypolithe in his youth), silversmith; b. 1782–83 or 1785, son of Laurent Morand, blacksmith, and Pélagie Massue; m. 29 Sept. 1845 Marie-Anne Dufresne, widow of François Bergevin, dit Langevin, in Montreal; d. there 11 July 1854.

There is no doubt about the identity of Paul Morand’s parents, who are named in his marriage certificate. They were married in Varennes in 1771 and parish records have so far revealed 12 offspring born between 1772 and 1795 in Varennes, Pointe-aux-Trembles (Montreal), Saint-Eustache, and Sainte-Thérèse-de-Blainville (Sainte-Thérèse), but Paul is not one of them. On 28 April 1802 “Hypolithe” Morand, son of Laurent Morand and aged approximately 18, was apprenticed as a silversmith. Paul being an evident contraction for Hypolithe, it is reasonable to assume that, despite the hypothesis published by Gérard Morisset* in 1954, only one person is involved, and that, given the birth dates of the other 12 children, Paul was born either between September 1782 and June 1783 or between February and April 1785.

Morand’s apprenticeship was to Pierre Huguet*, dit Latour, then a prosperous silversmith and merchant possessing one of Montreal’s largest ateliers and most important stores. Huguet had had several apprentices. At the time of Morand’s arrival, he was assisted by his son Pierre and apprentice Salomon Marion*. Morand no doubt worked closely with them. According to Marion’s contract, his term expired in February 1803. Morand’s own term expired when he reached the age of 21, presumably between September 1803 and April 1806. Huguet does not seem to have employed any other apprentices until 1810 when he engaged Alexander Fraser and signed a very important contract for several religious vessels to be made by Marion. Morand was probably also employed by Huguet at the completion of his apprenticeship: no silver has yet been discovered bearing his own mark before 1819. The first reference to Morand after his apprenticeship is as witness at Marion’s marriage on 20 Oct. 1817, four months after Huguet’s own death.

The few facts known about Morand are that he lived on Rue Saint-Vincent in 1819–20 and on Rue Viger (Rue Saint-Amable) from 1831 until his death. His marriage in 1845 seems to have been the major event of his life. In the following year he bequeathed all his belongings to his wife. He died on 11 July 1854 “at 5.30 p.m. after a lengthy illness, endured with the resignation of a true Christian. . . . He leaves in mourning an inconsolable wife and sister.” In 1855–56 his widow was still living on Saint-Amable; in the following year she was not listed in the city directory.

Morand’s first recorded works are a stoup and a ewer bought in 1819 by the parish of Sainte-Madeleine at Rigaud, the year in which he was first referred to as a silversmith in the Montreal city directory. From then until 1851 he received payment for religious vessels or repairs in 17 parishes; his silverware has also been found in several other locations. Morisset interpreted the records of these activities quite freely and almost abusively when he wrote that in 1817 “Salomon Marion . . . inherited many of his former master’s religious clients and kept them until his death in 1830. Paul Morand, in turn, benefited from the premature departure of his colleague: henceforth, and until his death he was the usual supplier for the parishes in the Montreal region.” Much of Morand’s silverwork is identical to objects bearing Huguet’s punch mark, PH; these pieces labelled and sold by Huguet may have been made by Morand.

In his article on Morand, Morisset discussed his styles and works, comparing them with others of the period. According to him, “The two censers of Varennes, fashioned in 1826 . . . are probably his masterpieces, at least the most perfect works he left behind.” Morisset’s criteria are debatable; he rejected every style that departed from “the best French Canadian tradition.” He concluded, xenophobically, that all Anglo-Saxon influences on Montreal silversmiths were a cause of decadence and profound stylistic degradation. Morand’s works are the best proof that these diverse influences were a source of evolution and of richness. His chalices, censers, baptismal ewers, and paxes were innovative in shape and decoration. Many of these objects, those in the Henry Birks Collection of Silver for example, are far more interesting than the two Varennes censers praised by Morisset because they looked like those of Laurent Amiot* or François Sasseville*. It is true, however, that industrialization had a significant impact on aesthetics, and that some of Morand’s designs suffered from his imitating commercialized objects executed in poor taste.

Numerous silver articles sold today as the work of local 19th-century silversmiths are in fact objects manufactured in such places as India or the Channel Islands. Styles and marks found on these pieces are very similar to those of Huguet, Morand, or Henry Polonceau, demonstrating the need for a stylistic analysis of Canadian colonial silversmithing in comparison with that of other British colonies. Morand’s work, nevertheless, stands out as an important landmark in the evolution of religious silversmithing in Canada. Both the man and his work deserve a better understanding.

Robert Derome and Norma Morgan

Works by Paul Morand are found in the Henry Birks Collection of Silver at the National Gallery of Canada (Ottawa), the Musée du Québec (Québec), the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, the McCord Museum, and various churches in the Montreal area.

ANQ-M, CE1-10, 10 sept. 1771; CE1-51, 20 oct. 1817, 29 sept. 1845, 14 juill. 1854; CN1-32, 19 oct. 1846; CN1-74, 14 juill. 1812; CN1-128, 30 mars 1795, 25 sept. 1797, 23 juill. 1798, 28 avril 1802; CN1-243, 13 févr., 14 juin 1810. AP, Sainte-Madeleine (Rigaud), livres de comptes, 1819. MAC-CD, Fonds Morisset, 2, M829.2/P324. La Minerve, 2 oct. 1845, 22 juill. 1854. Canada directory, 1851–57. Groupe de recherche sur la société montréalaise au xixe siècle, Répertoire des rues de Montréal au XIXe siècle (Montréal, 1976). Montreal directory, 1819. R. H. Mayne, Old Channel Island silver, its makers and marks (Jersey, 1969). Morisset, Coup d’œil sur les arts, 106–7. Ramsay Traquair, The old silver of Quebec (Toronto, 1940). W. R. T. Wilkinson, Indian colonial silver: European silversmiths (1790–1860) and their marks (London, 1973). Gérard Morisset, “L’orfèvre Paul Morand, 1784–1854,” RSC Trans, 3rd ser., 48 (1954), sect.i: 29–35.

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Cite This Article

Robert Derome and Norma Morgan, “MORAND, PAUL,” in Dictionary of Canadian Biography, vol. 8, University of Toronto/Université Laval, 2003–, accessed December 7, 2023, http://www.biographi.ca/en/bio/morand_paul_8E.html.

The citation above shows the format for footnotes and endnotes according to the Chicago manual of style (16th edition). Information to be used in other citation formats:

Permalink:   http://www.biographi.ca/en/bio/morand_paul_8E.html
Author of Article:   Robert Derome and Norma Morgan
Title of Article:   MORAND, PAUL
Publication Name:   Dictionary of Canadian Biography, vol. 8
Publisher:   University of Toronto/Université Laval
Year of publication:   1985
Year of revision:   1985
Access Date:   December 7, 2023