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Certificate - Awarded to Robert Knaggs, Esq., Silver Medal for Services, Melbourne International Exhibition, 1880-81 Document Reg. No: HT 35104

Certificate presented to Melbourne International Exhibition Commissioner Robert Knaggs, Esq., J.P., M.R.C.S., E., at the conclusion of the Exhibition in April 1881.

Robert Knaggs was an Edinburgh trained surgeon with rooms in West Melbourne. He migrated to Victoria from Mountrath in Ireland with his adult family in 1852. As a well-connected professional with political connections, Knaggs typified the type of gentleman appointed by the Colonial Government to the Melbourne International Commission. The Commission was responsible for all aspects of the Exhibition's organisation and management: construction of the building, landscaping of the gardens, exhibition finances, international and intercolonial negotiations, ceremonies, and areas of manufacture. The executive committee established a number of committees to oversee these. While many Commissioners served on a number of committees, it appears that Robert Knaggs only served on one: Committee 13, 'Vegetable Products'.

All commissioners and staff were presented with a medal for service to the Exhibition and a corresponding certificate. Members of the executive committee were awarded gold medals, other Commissioners silver medals, and all staff bronze medals.
Certificate adhered to backing card printed in black and pale blue (very faded). Composition is surrounded by a decorative border of scrolls, national coat of arms and classical motifs, surmounted by a larger, centrally positioned Victorian coat of arms flanked by winged figures.The text is framed by four female classical figures, two representing wool and gold, with a group of attendant cherubs enacting artistic and industrial tasks at each figure's feet. A red wax seal is centred between the figures. Certificate has visible insect damage, tears and delamination around the border, and is heavily faded.
Acquisition Information:
Donation from Phyllis Knaggs, 2013
Discipline: History

More information

Tagged with: exhibitions melbourne international 1880-1881, royal exhibition building, certificates, surgeons, commissioners
Themes this item is part of: Public Life & Institutions Collection, Royal Exhibition Building Collection
Primary Classification: PUBLIC EVENTS
Secondary Classification: Melbourne International Exhibition 1880
Tertiary Classification: certificates
Inscriptions: Printed, front: 'VICTORIA / 1880 / 1881 / MELBOURNE INTERNATIONAL EXHIBITION / Robert Knaggs, Esq., J.P., M.R.C.S., E., / VICTORIA / Awarded Silver Medal / FOR SERVICES /'
Signed 'J. Cosmo Newbery / Superintendent of Juries & Awards / George Collins Levey (?) / Secretary / (?) Casey / Chairman of Committee of Juries & Awards / N.J. Clarke / President'
Typewritten note on back: 'From Official Record of the Melbourne International Exhibition 1880/1 / R. Knaggs was one of 2 Doctors amongst the 130 Commissioners (the other William Gilbert). Among other Commissioners, J.B. Were, Brahe & Von Mueller. (Memo for back of Certificate when found).'
Place & Date of Event: Royal Exhibition Building (REB), Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, 1 Oct 1880 - 30 Apr 1881
Person Named: Mr Robert Knaggs, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, 1881

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