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Photograph - German Imperial Tent, North Transept, Great Hall, Exhibition Building, 1880-1881 Image Reg. No: MM 107915

View of the German Imperial Tent on the balcony of the north transept of the Great Hall of the permanent Exhibition Building at the 1880 Melbourne International Exhibition held at the Exhibition Buildings, Carlton Gardens, between 1 October 1880 and 30 April 1881.

While the official plans for the exhibition show Germany having been allocated various court space in at least three different areas, the German commissioner would complain in a letter to Melbourne's press that lack of coordination between London and Australia in the early planning stages meant that German exhibits were spread across no less than eight locations around the exhibition buildings, one of these being the Imperial Tent in the north transept.

The Imperial Tent housed the German Court's displays of fine jewellery and was described as 'one of the most interesting portions of the Exhibition':

'Diamonds and emeralds of fine quality are conspicious in the gold sets, and there is one diamond of 10 carats. Various forms of bracelets are shown, and one of massive shape contains a single stone of great brilliance. The pendants are of many patterns, and amongst the most noticeable are some in the Renaissance style. As a rule, the diamonds are set in gold, but a fine effect is also obtained with combinations of diamonts and silver, of which an imitation of the Alphine flower, Edelweiss, is one of the best examples. Lockets set with diamonds, chased, or ornamented with wreaths and birds, with lustrous wings, are worthy of inspection.'

In the foreground at ground level can be seen the exhibits of the British piano manufacturer, John Brinsmead and Sons of London.

This is one of seventy-six photographs in a photograph album. Twenty-six photographs are of the 1880 Melbourne International Exhibition. The photographs provide us with important visual evidence about the gardens around the Exhibition Building, and interior exhibits, including detailed images of the British Art Court, the ceramic and pottery exhibits in the Main Hall, and the appearance of the Avenue of Nations. The photographs are taken from glass plates and retain an excellent level of clarity and detail.

The album also contains a number of photographs in the 'Frith's Series', taken by British photographer Francis Frith, or members of his staff, of Gibraltar, and villages and towns in Britain.
Albumen photograph mounted on buff-coloured card in red, cloth-covered, photograph album with decorative gold tooled border and gold tooled lettering in centre of front cover.
Description Of Content:
International Exhibition, Melbourne, 1880. Interior view of the Exhibition Building showing the exhibits in the Imperial German Tent on the mezzanine of the Great Hall, and other exhibitors at ground level in the northern transept.
Source: Museum Victoria
Discipline: History
Dimensions: 205 mm (Height), 270 mm (Width)
Dimension Comment: Dimensions of photograph only

More information

Tagged with: civic mementoes, art, exhibitions, exhibitions melbourne international 1880-1881, gardens, buildings, art exhibitions, keepsakes, royal exhibition building, public ceremonies, photography, exterior views
Themes this item is part of: 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: Written inside the front cover of album: 'W.W.Scott/ c/o Horticultural Press/ 78A Victoria Street/ Melbourne C1/ Box 1944/ Phone F2656/ [illegible]; Sold by G.W.Harris, Donolly Victoria.'
Format: Photograph: Monochrome
Place & Date Depicted: Royal Exhibition Building (REB), Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, 1880
Exhibitor: Pforzhelm Joint Exhibition, Germany, 1880
Agent: Schmedes, Erbsloh & Company, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, 1880
Exhibitor: John Brinsmead & Sons, Piano Makers, London, England, Great Britain, 1880
References: 'The German Court at the Exhibition', Argus, 22 October 1880, p.7.
'Exhibition Notes', Argus, 15 February 1881, p.6.

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