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Photograph - Belgian Court, Temporary Annexe, Exhibition Building, 1880-1881 Image Reg. No: MM 107842

View of glassware by Leon Baudoux & Co. in the Belgian Court in the central temporary annexe on the eastern side of the main avenue at the 1880 Melbourne International Exhibition held at the Exhibition Buildings, Carlton Gardens, between 1 October 1880 and 30 April 1881.

In addition to the main permanent Exhibition Building, two permanent annexes as well as a large, central wooden temporary annexe were constructed to house the courts of various countries, or to include larger items from countries already represented in the main Building.

The main avenue was the central corridor that extended through the temporary annexes, leading northwards from the main permament Exhibition Buildings. Many of the major European countries had their courts situated on the western side of the main avenue, while the eastern side included exhibits from smaller countries and from other Australian colonies. The Belgian Court was situated on the northern side of the Japanese Court and opposite the Dutch Court. An east-west avenue separated the Belgian and Dutch Courts, taking visitors to the Exhibition eastwards from the main avenue towards Nicholson Street and the British Machinery Annexe.

The glass manufacturing firm of Leon Baudoux & Co. exhibited under class 12, Photographic Proofs and Apparatus, where they exhibited 'photographic engravings on white and coloured sheet-glass'. Also visible in this image are the display of copies of artworks. As the Argus noted: 'In the passage dividing the front and rear portions of the Belgian court there are some excellent photographs on glass of pictures by celebrated Flemish masters. They are intended for windows, and are exhibited by Messrs. Leon Baudoux and Co.'

This is one of sixty-one photographs in a presentation photograph album titled '1880 Melbourne International Exhibition' presented to Thomas B. Hill. Hill was the Assistant Secretary of the 1880 Melbourne International Exhibition. This leather bound album was given to Hill, and all the Exhibition Commissioners, by the Exhibition Trustees. The photographer is believed to be Ludovico Hart, acting on a private commission from the Exhibition Trustees.
Monochrome, gold-toned, silver gelatin photograph in a black leather bound album with decorative gold tooled border and gold tooled lettering in centre of front cover. Inside, 61 monochrome photographic plates showing exterior and interior views of the 1880 International Exhibition, held at the Royal Exhibition Building, Melbourne. Each photograph is mounted on heavy buff coloured card and has a simple black line border with a title beneath the photograph.
Statement Of Significance:
The Royal Exhibition Building has played an important role in Melbourne's social commercial and sporting life since it was built for the Melbourne International Exhibition in 1880. The building's size and scale provide us with a physical example of 'boom-time' Melbourne in 1880. The international exhibitions of the late 1800s provided the fledgling Australian colonies with a forum in which to showcase their progress in commerce and industry to the world. This album is significant for its detailed visual record of the first international exhibition held in Melbourne. It has clear views of the colonial & international courts, as well as specific prominent exhibits. It also provides a contemporary view of the Exhibition Building interior and exterior in the year it was constructed.
Description Of Content:
International Exhibition at Exhibition Building, Melbourne, 1880: interior view showing a display of glassware in the Belgian court. The coat of arms of the southern Belgian county of Hainaut is visible at the top of the nearest pillar, while the coat of arms of Beligum, depicting a single rampant lion, can be seen mounted on the pillar behind the glassware display.
Acquisition Information:
Transfer from Trustees of the Royal Exhibition Building (REB), 1991
Source: Museum Victoria
Discipline: History
Dimensions: 233 mm (Height), 291 mm (Width)
Dimension Comment: Dimensions of photograph only

More information

Tagged with: civic mementoes, exhibitions, exhibitions melbourne international 1880-1881, buildings, glass products, keepsakes, royal exhibition building, medal presentations, public ceremonies, glass technologies, belgian communities, photography, royal exhibition building trustees, royal exhibition building history of events 1879-1899, glass manufacturing
Themes this item is part of: Ludovico Hart, Photographer (circa1836-1919), Images & Image Making Collection, Public Life & Institutions Collection, Royal Exhibition Building Collection
Primary Classification: PUBLIC EVENTS
Secondary Classification: Melbourne International Exhibition 1880
Tertiary Classification: photograph albums
Inscriptions: Printed in black ink on card below the photograph: '43. VIEW IN BELGIAN COURT. GLASSWARE.'
Format: Photograph: Monochrome
Place & Date Depicted: Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, 1880
Manufactured For: Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, 1880
Photographer: Ludovico Hart, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, 1880
Presented To: Mr Thomas Hill - Melbourne Commission, 1880 Melbourne International Exhibition, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, 1880
Presented By: The Exhibition Trustees, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, 1880
Manufacturer of Item Depicted: Leon Baudoux & Co., Belgium, 1880
Exhibitor: Elliaert, Cools, Aalst, Belgium, 1880
References: On Ludovico Hart see: The Aust'n Photographic Journal, March 20 1896, p.56.
On Leon Baudoux & Co's exhibit see: The Argus Exhibition Supplement, 3 December 1880, p. 50; Launceston Examiner, 18 August 1881, p.3

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