Montréal numismatist’s correspondence with U.S. dealers digitized

Correspondence between a pair of Philadelphia dealers and historic Québec numismatist P.O. Tremblay, once the curator of the Antiquarian and Numismatic Society of Montréal, has been digitized and offered online for free.

From the American Numismatic Society archives, the digitized correspondence includes business discussions, auction catalogues and other material sent between 1869 and 1949.

Born in 1864, Tremblay began collecting coins at age 15. Seven years later, in 1886, he started working as an ironmonger on Notre-Dame Street in Montréal.

Tremblay’s correspondence with the Philadelphia dealers – brothers Henry and Samuel Hudson Chapman, who worked between 1880 and 1935 – primarily focuses on the latter’s bidding in the Chapmans’ sales.

A pair of P.O. Tremblay’s advertising tokens in copper (left) and white metal brought $106.20 (including buyer’s premium) as Lot 226 of the June 2014 Canadian Legacy Sale.


The following decade, Tremblay ordered 1892-dated promotional tokens – also known as numismatist’s cards – with three known varieties, including two in copper (one in English and another in French) plus one in white metal (also in English).

Engraved by C. Tison, the tokens read “SUCCESS TO THE NUMISMATISTS / OF CANADA” or “FAIS CE QUE DOIS ADVIENNE QUE POURRA,” respectively, on one side. The other side features Tremblay’s information, with his name, “P.O. TREMBLAY,” around the top; “MONTREAL 1892” around the bottom; and “NUMISMATE” in a ribbon above a shield in the centre.

Sponsored by the Eric P. Newman Numismatic Education Society, the digitization efforts are available online via

The Canadian Antiquarian and Numismatic Journal (Series 1, Vol. 1-3), published by the Antiquarian and Numismatic Society of Montréal, is also available for free via the Newman Numismatic Portal at

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