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Canadian Historian, John Goldi

Left historian John Goldi catalogues museum inventory behind the desk which had been built for the Hon. Réné Edouard Caron, when he was Mayor of Quebec (1834-1836). He became an MPP, a Court Justice, and then Lt. Governor of Quebec (1873-1876).

His son who played around the desk while a boy, became Sir Adolphe Caron, and Minister of Militia under Prime Minister Sir John A Macdonald, and sent the troops west to fight Riel in 1885.

At Réné's death, in 1876, when Quebec honoured him with its biggest ever funeral, the desk went to his son-in-law, Sir Charles Fitzpatrick.

He was to become Solicitor-General and Justice Minister (1896-1906) under Sir Wilfrid Laurier, who appointed him Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Canada (1906-1918).

He too, like his father-in- law, 45 years earlier, became Lt. Governor of Quebec (1918-1923.)

On his death, in 1942, the desk went to his grand-daughter Corinne Kernan, who married Pierre Sevigny a famous war hero. He had the desk when he became Deputy Speaker of the House of Commons, and a Deputy Minister of Defence under John Diefenbaker in the late 1950s.

He became famous for the Gerda Munsinger Affair in 1966, when he was outed as having courted the German spy on top of this desk while he was a Deputy Defence Minister. She serviced other Diefenbaker cabinet ministers, like George Hees, but not on top of this desk.

The same year the scandal broke, Pierre's outraged wife, Corinne, sold the historic desk to John Laurel Russell, Canada's top antiques authority.

On his death in 2003, it was acquired by John Goldi for the Museum.

It continues to be associated with eminent Canadians who have contributed greatly to Canadian public life while working behind it over the past 180 years.

flashing newGreat Canadian Heritage Treasure
The Caron, Fitzpatrick, Kernan, Sevigny, Munsinger, Russell Desk - 1834-2015 (John Laurel Russell Collection)
Found - Toronto, ON
Canadian Antiques: From photo front, clockwise: photo 1899 Boer War Vet, Ontarian WJ Diffey CAMC, toby jugs 1916 (Lloyd George, Gen. Haig by Carruthers-Gould Wilkinson), plaster bust c 1897 Laurier (by Philippe Hébert), parian bust 1863 Princess Alexandra (by Mary Thorneycroft), plaster statues 1886 John A Macdonald, Louis-Hippolyte Lafontaine, John A Macdonald (all Philippe Hébert), plaster bust 1929 Laurier (Laliberté); toby jug 1916, Lord Kitchener (Carruthers-Gould Wilkinson); plaster bust c 1896 Tecumseh (Hamilton MacCarthy); parian bust 1900 Lord Roberts (WC Lawton R&L). Elsewhere: English 64 key concertina 1920 (Wheatstone); fiddle of 1896 Laurier MP Charles Heyd - photo above - (Georg & August Klemme 1761); woodblock engraving 1862 Quebec (RP Leitch); acrylic on board c 1980 "Moonlight Raiders" (Carl J Smith). All part of some 4,500 antique historical memorabilia items in the Canadian Anglo-Boer War Museum Collection, collected & curated by historian John Goldi, who is also a musician, playing fiddle, banjo, guitar, concertina, fife, etc.
Caron 1834-1876 Fitzpatrick 1876-1942 Kernan 1942-1966 Sevigny 1942-1966 Gerda 1960s
Owners & Celebrities Associated with the Finest Desk in Canadian History (1834-2015)
Type Description Date Style, Period
Desk Walnut - Caron, Fitzpatrick/Sevigny/Russell Estates (Quebec) 1830s Canadian Georgian
Secretaire Mahogany - Goodhue/Smallman Estate (London, Ontario) 1780s Georgian
Chest Bird's-eye, Tiger Maple, & Cherry - Robert Stewart Estate (Guelph, ON) 1860s Empire
Trunk Oak - James & Jane Wickson Immigrant Steamer Trunk (Paris, ON) 1834  
Trunk Werner & Ruth Goldi Immigrant Steamer Trunk, (Aberfeldy, ON) 1950  
Trunks Misc. Historic Canadian Trunks 19th c  
Chair, corner Teak - from HMS Powerful 1900 Arts & Crafts
Table, campaign World War 1, Battle of Cambrai 1917 Military
Chairs, pressback Queen Victoria, Edward VII, Laurier, Sampson, Dewey, 1890s  
Coffin stools Oak - Coffin Stool Game Tables - Joe Barfoot Estate (Toronto, ON) 1700s -1918 Elizabethan
Chest Bird's-eye Maple & Cherry (Prince Edward County, ON) 1820-40 Regency, Empire
Chest Bird's-eye Maple & Cherry (Niagara Peninsula) 1840s Empire
       
FAKE Victorian/Edwardian Furniture Fakes    
 
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