Similar items over time

Medal - Melbourne International Exhibition, Victoria, Australia, 1880 Numismatics Reg. No: NU 48573

White metal commemorative medal from the Melbourne International Exhibition held at the Exhibition Buildings, Melbourne, between 1 October 1880 and 30 April 1881.

Small medallions such as this one were struck for sale to visitors to the exhibition. It features a view of the Exhibition Building as seen from the the south-east and, on the reverse, the entwined initials 'MIE', representing the Melbourne International Exhibition. It has been holed on the top margin, enabling it to be worn on a chain as a fob.

The Melbourne International Exhibition ran from 1 October 1880 to 30 April 1881. The Exhibition Building that still stands was constructed for the occasion, designed by Joseph Reed and built by David Mitchell. Over 1.3 million people visited the exhibition at a time when Melbourne's population was only around 282,000.
A medal struck in white metal (20 mm diameter), with a hole punched through the upper margin. It features a view of the Exhibition Building from the south east, with the below text 'MELBOURNE/ 1880'. The reverse features the initials MIE entwined into a monograph; an abbreviation of Melbourne International Exhibition.
Statement Of Significance:
This medal is a variation on a common design produced during the period of the 1880-81 Melbourne International Exhibition, depicting the Exhibition Buildings, that could be purchased by visitors to Melbourne as a souvenir. Small, and in this instance holed to enable it to be worn, it would have been available to both local and international visitors to Melbourne, or posted overseas as a token or a visitor's time at the Exhibition.

While there are numerous examples of similar medals in Museum Victoria's collections, this particular design is not yet represented, and thus demonstrates the variety of commercially produced tokens available during 1880-81.
Acquisition Information:
Donation from Judy Wheeler, 2011
Discipline: Numismatics
Dimensions: 20 mm (Diameter)

More information

Tagged with: souvenirs, exhibitions, exhibitions melbourne international 1880-1881, medals
Themes this item is part of: Numismatics & Philately Collection, Public Life & Institutions Collection, Royal Exhibition Building Collection
Primary Classification: MEDALS
Secondary Classification: Commemorative
Tertiary Classification: Melbourne international exhibition 1880-1881
Series: Australian Exhibition Medals
DateEra: 1880 AD
Obverse Description: A view of the Exhibition Building as seen from the the south-east; MELBOURNE 1880.
Reverse Description: At the centre, MIE [entwined]
Edge Description: Plain
Shape: round
Material: White Metal
Issued By: Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, 1880
Place & Date Depicted: Royal Exhibition Building (REB), Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, 1880

Add your comment

  • Museum Victoria does not provide valuations, for more information please visit the valuation infosheet
  • Please note that Museum Victoria staff will not normally respond to comments posted on our website.
Yes No