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Medal - Melbourne Exhibition Prize, Victoria, Australia, 1854 Numismatics Reg. No: NU 20806

Summary:
Australia Victoria Melbourne
Melbourne 1854 Exhibition Prize Medal 1854 (AD)
Mint: Royal Mint London
Awarded to: McClelland, Robert
Other Details: A bronze prize medal (64 mm diameter) awarded to the photographer Robert McClelland by the Melbourne 1854 Exhibition. McClelland was a photographer who had immigrated from Scotland in the early days of the gold rush. His medal was awarded for an entry of Daguerreotyped Views of Melbourne &c (from 1854 catalogue p.35). The medal contains a correction in the impression of the first letter of his name - r over M and gives the wrong number for his entry, it should be 290 not 291. The Exhibition opened on 17 December 1854 and ran for 30 days. Around 40,000 people attended - half of Melbourne's population. The exhibition building, at the site of the later Royal Mint in William Street, was based on the design of the Crystal Palace in London, which had hosted the Great Exhibition only three years earlier, in 1851. Melbourne's exhibition building had 200 ornamental windows and was lit by 306 gaslights. The exhibition included a modest 428 exhibits, mainly local industrial and agricultural products. Some of these exhibits went to Paris for the 1855 Exhibition.
Description:
A bronze prize medal (64 mm diameter) awarded to Robert McCelland by the Melbourne 1854 Exhibition. It features a view by J.S. Wyon, whose name appears at the top right of the exergue, of the specially built exhibition building as it would have been seen from the Flagstaff Gardens together with an allegorical scene of a miner presenting a large gold nugget, a shepherd presenting a sheep and a farmer bearing a wheat sheaf to Britannia seated facing right and holding a trident in right hand and resting arm on a shield decorated with the Union Jack. The scene is framed by a tree and the Southern Cross is in the sky above Britannia.
Acquisition Information:
Transfer from National Gallery of Victoria (NGV), 1976
Discipline: Numismatics
Dimensions: 64 mm (Diameter)

More information

Tagged with: daguerreotypes, exhibitions, iconography, photography
Themes this item is part of: Images & Image Making Collection, Public Life & Institutions Collection, J.S. & A.B. Wyon, Engravers, London, England, J.S. & A.B. Wyon, Engravers, London, England, Williamstown Rifle Range, Victoria
Primary Classification: MEDALS
Secondary Classification: Civil
Tertiary Classification: exhibition prizes
Series: Australian Exhibition Prize Medals
DateEra: 1854 AD
Obverse Description: At centre, a view of the specially built exhibition building by J.S. Wyon, whose name appears at the top right of the exergue, as it would have been seen from the Flagstaff Gardens; above, MELBOURNE EXHIBITION; in exergue: VICTORIA / 1854 and in small letters, J.S.WYON SC.
Reverse Description: Scene of a miner presenting a large gold nugget, a shepherd presenting a sheep and a farmer bearing a wheat sheaf to Britannia seated facing right and holding a trident in right hand and resting arm on a shield decorated with the Union Jack. The scene is framed by a tree and the Southern Cross is in the sky above Britannia.
Edge Description: 291 * R. Mc.CLELLAND * DAGUERREOTYPE VIEWS * PRIZE MEDAL *
note: the R of his first name is impressed over an M
Inscriptions: Edge: Impressed; 291 * R. Mc.CLELLAND * DAGUERREOTYPE VIEWS * PRIZE MEDAL * - note the R is impressed over an error M and the number on the medal is incorrect - in the catalogue he is 290
Obverse: MELBOURNE EXHIBITION above the Exhibition building, in exergue: VICTORIA/1854 J.S.WYON SC.
Reverse: no inscription
Shape: round
Material: Bronze
Issued By: Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Mint: Wyon (Mint)
Artist: Joseph Wyon
Awarded To: Mr. Robert McClelland, 1854

For Daguerreotypes of Melbourne etc.
References: Car. 1854/2
Bibliography:
  1. [Book], Official Catalogue of the Melbourne Exhibition, 1854, in Connection with the Paris Exhibition, 1855, Melbourne, 1855

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