Maritime history in 42 vessels of ivory

News 17 July, 2017
  • Photo didier debusschère
    It has now been 30 years that Gaston Déry preserves 42 sculptures that bear witness to the greatest moments in the history of the global navigation.

    Dominique Lelièvre

    Monday, 17 July, 2017 00:51

    Monday, 17 July, 2017 00:51

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    On the eve of the rendez-vous naval, an intriguing fleet of 42 ships, miniatures carved in ivory canadian patient at a few steps from the port of Quebec.

    The valuable pieces comprise the exhibition of ivory and sea, which makes its appearance at the Museum of civilization. They are the work of Edmond Lecouvie, a former marine and police officer of the city of Québec, who has dedicated 15 years of his life to this project, in the 1930s and 1940s.

    Seven decades later, after having travelled to Victoria in British Columbia, there they were met near the river, in the city that saw it born, while a quarantine of ships, real ones, are about to land.

    Photo didier debusschère

    Ivory canadian

    A scenario dreamed up for the current owner of the collection, Gaston Déry, who takes care of the ship miniatures for 30 years and whose grand-father was a close friend of the artist. “Every time I look at a boat, I discovered a detail that I’ve never seen before,” notes the amateur of maritime history.

    Forming a real time line, the ships images have the distinction of having been carved from the ivory of the narwhal and walrus, and not only that, since it is the captain lévisien Joseph-Elzéar Bernier, who presented to the artist, the precious material, obtained from the Inuit during his arctic expeditions.

    “A tribute to the sea “

    With some 20 000 pieces of ivory, the artist of Québec has been able to achieve a level of precision is impressive. A huge amount of work carried out in his residence in the rue Fraser, by passion, but also to remind the importance of maritime traditions.

    “It was the work of his life, a tribute to the sea, and a tribute to the pioneers and the discoverers, he wanted to leave a legacy,” says Gaston Déry.

    The man hopes that the 42 ships miniatures will officially make the national capital their permanent home port in a few years. In the meantime, the exhibition continues until 22 October 2017 and is available free of charge on the second floor of the Museum of civilization.