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Medal - Melbourne Centennial International Exhibition, Silver Prize, Victoria, Australia, 1888 Numismatics Reg. No: NU 16454

This silver prize medal was awarded to Alexander Fletcher at the Centennial International Exhibition. Alexander Fletcher was an important but today largely unrecognised art connoisseur, picture dealer, framer, conservator and exhibition curator. Fletcher oversaw the hanging of the pictures at the Melbourne International Exhibition in 1880 and sold a greater number of works than ever before at an exhibition. Fletcher also organised the fine arts at several other International and Intercolonial Exhibitions between 1880 and 1890, for which he often drew on his own collection.He sold paintings from his stock of European, British and Australian paintings to local wealthy citizens and state galleries. Artists who exhibited works included Eugene von Guerard. Fletcher's business appears to have collapsed in 1893, presumably a victim of the depression.

The Exhibition, celebrating a century of Australian settlement, surpassed even the grand scale of the1880 Melbourne International Exhibition. It attracted over two million people, but the Victorian government had to spend £250 000 on it, ten times the amount estimated. The exhibition had a distinctively imperial focus, and a greater emphasis on culture than in 1880, particularly on music and painting. A choir of 5000 sang music old and new, and 500,000 people attended symphony concerts. There were over 3000 paintings on display, including works by artists like JMW Turner and C Lutyens. The Exhibition Building in Carlton Gardens was lit inside and out by electric lights, claimed to be the largest installation of arc lighting in the world.
Discipline: Numismatics
Dimensions: 51 mm (Diameter)
Weight: 90.457 g (Weight)

More information

Tagged with: economic depression 1890s, exhibitions
Themes this item is part of: Alexander Fletcher, Art Connoisseur (circa 1840s-?), 1888 Melbourne Centennial International Exhibition Medals, Royal Exhibition Building Collection, Public Life & Institutions Collection, Royal Mint, Melbourne Branch, Melbourne, Victoria, HM Queen Victoria (1819-1901), Stokes & Son, Medal Makers, Melbourne, Victoria & Sydney, New South Wales, Melbourne Mint, Medal Makers, Victoria, Australia, Deputy Masters of the Melbourne Branch of the Royal Mint, Deputy Masters of the Melbourne Branch of the Royal Mint, Closure of Melbourne Mint, Melbourne Mint during World War II, Establishment of Melbourne Mint, 1872, Melbourne Mint
On Display at: Melbourne Museum
Primary Classification: MEDALS
Secondary Classification: Civil
Tertiary Classification: melbourne centennial exhibition 1888-1889
Series: Australian Exhibition Medals
DateEra: 1888 AD
Obverse Description: Bust of Queen Victoria facing left wearing crown and veil ; around, CENTENNIAL INTERNATIONAL EXHIBITION MELBOURNE
Reverse Description: Around below wreath, MELBOURNE MINT MDCCCLXXXVIII STOKES AND MARTIN SC.
within wreath around Southern Cross, ARTIBUS DIGNUS HONOR INSIGNIS
Edge Description: Impressed, ALEX. FLETCHER ESQ.
Shape: round
Material: Silver
Issued By: Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, 1888
Mint: Melbourne (Mint), 1888
Designer: George Anderson - Royal Mint, Melbourne
Engraver: Stokes & Martin (Mint)
Awarded To: Alexander Fletcher, 1888
Person Depicted: HM Queen Victoria
Place & Date of Event: Exhibition: 1888 Centennial, Melbourne, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, 1888
References: Car. 1888/8 silver

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