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Medal - International Exhibition, Sydney, Commemorative, Stokes & Martin, New South Wales, Australia, 1879-1880 Numismatics Reg. No: NU 20542

Summary:
Australia New South Wales Sydney
Medal - Sydney International Exhibition 1879 Commemorative
First International Exhibition
Mint: Stokes & Martin
Other Details: A 47 mm diameter commemorative medal struck by the Melbourne firm Stokes & Martin to commemorate the 1879 Exhibition. It features a view of the Sydney Garden Palace from across the Harbour, with a sailing ship at anchor in the foreground. The Sydney International Exhibition was the first true international exhibition that an Australian colony had hosted. Previous exhibitions had been local or intercolonial. The International Exhibition was held in a purpose-built building at Inner Domain, featuring 15 acres of display area and a main dome 210 feet high. Four towers of this 'Garden Palace' provided spectacular views of the city and harbour, and the galleries were illuminated with stained glass skylights. The Exhibition was opened by His Excellency Lord Augustus Loftus on 17 September 1879, whose arrival in Sydney from England the previous month as the new Governor of New South Wales had been received with great enthusiasm. The Exhibition attracted over 1.1 million visitors, at a time when the population of New South Wales was 739,385. Awards for exhibitors were announced by the judges on the closing day, 20 April 1880. Gold, large silver, small silver and bronze medals and diplomas were awarded. The medal's obverse was based on a design by Samuel Begg and subsequently altered by J.S. and A.B. Wyon, who prepared the dies. The wreath of Australian flowers on the reverse was designed by James W. Sayers. The gold and silver medals were struck at the Sydney branch of the Royal Mint, and the bronze medals were struck in London. About 7,554 awards were made. The exhibition was so popular that the government purchased many of the prize exhibits and set up the Technological, Industrial and Sanitary Museum, the grandparent of the Powerhouse Museum. The Garden Palace burned down in 1882.
Description:
A 47 mm diameter white metal commemorative medal struck by the Melbourne firm Stokes & Martin to commemorate the 1879 Exhibition. It features a view of the Sydney Garden Palace from across the Harbour, with a sailing ship at anchor in the foreground.
Acquisition Information:
Transfer from Melbourne Branch of Royal Mint, 1978
Discipline: Numismatics
Dimensions: 47 mm (Diameter)
Weight: 43.36 g (Weight)

More information

Tagged with: exhibitions
Themes this item is part of: Public Life & Institutions Collection, Stokes & Son, Medal Makers, Melbourne, Victoria & Sydney, New South Wales, Stokes & Son, Medal Makers, Melbourne, Victoria & Sydney, New South Wales
Primary Classification: MEDALS
Secondary Classification: Commemorative
Tertiary Classification: exhibitions
Series: Australian Exhibition Medals
DateEra: 1879-1880 AD
Obverse Description: View of the Garden Palace across the harbour and park, with sailing ship at anchor in foreground right, around on broad rim, * NEW SOUTH WALES INTERNATIONAL EXHIBITION * 1879 * 1880; in Exergue; STOKES & MARTIN MEDALLISTS
Reverse Description: Wreath around a monogram SIE; on the S of the monogram: STOKES & MARTIN / DIE SINKERS / MEDALLISTS
Edge Description: Plain
Inscriptions: Plain (edge)
*NEW SOUTH WALES INTERNATIONAL EXHIBITION * 1879 * 1880 View of the Garden Palace, Ship. In Exergue; STOKES & MARTIN MEDALLISTS (obverse)
Wreath around a monogram SIE; on the letter S, STOKES & MARTIN / DIE SINKERS / MEDALLISTS (reverse)
Shape: Round
Material: White metal
Issued By: Stokes & Martin, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, 1879-1880
Mint: Stokes & Martin (Mint), Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, 1879
References: Car. 1879-80/8
Bibliography:
  1. [Article] Carlisle, Leslie J. 1978. Australia's First International Exhibition: Sydney 1879. Report of the Australian Numismatic Society. Yearbook No.3
  2. [Book], Robert Freestone, Roslyn Maguire, Peter Proudfoot, Colonial City, Global City: Sydney's International Exhibition 1879, Crossing Press, Darlinghurst, 2000
  3. [Book], Official Record of the Sydney International Exhibition, 1879, Sydney, 1881

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