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Medal - Melbourne Centennial International Exhibition Commemorative, Victoria, Australia, 1888 Numismatics Reg. No: NU 18236

Australia Victoria Melbourne
Melbourne at the Falls1837, 1888 (AD)
Mint: Not Known (Carlisle suggests Melbourne Mint).
Other Details: This medal contrasts the experience of visitors to the 1888 exhibition experience of Melbourne at the waterfall on the Yarra adjacent to the Custom's House with how it had looked in 1837, fifty-one years earlier. It depicts a rural scene with three huts on the north bank where Custom's House now stands. On the south bank a figure is fishing with a spear and a small canoe can be seen on the river. The other side depicts the glory of the Exhibition Buildings, with flags flying, as seen from the north west. The 1888 Centennial International 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 imerial focus, and a greater emphasis on culture than in 1880, particularly on music and painting. A choir of five thousand sang music old and new, and half a million people attended symphony concerts. There were over three thousand paintings on display, including works by artists like J.M.W. 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.
A silver medal, holed (probably originally with loop and ribbon) featuring a view of the exhibition Building from an elevated position to the north-west and a rural scene representing Melbourne in 1837, with three huts on the north bank where Custom's House now stands. On the south bank a figure is fishing with a spear and a small canoe can be seen on the river.
Acquisition Information:
Transfer from National Gallery of Victoria (NGV), 1976
Discipline: Numismatics
Dimensions: 24 mm (Diameter)
Weight: 5.04 g (Weight)

More information

Tagged with: aboriginal depictions, customs houses, exhibitions, royal exhibition building, tourism
Themes this item is part of: Royal Exhibition Building Collection, Public Life & Institutions Collection
Primary Classification: MEDALS
Secondary Classification: Commemorative
Tertiary Classification: melbourne centennial exhibition 1888-1889
Series: Exhibition
DateEra: 1888 AD
Obverse Description: View of Exhibition Building; above, CENTENNIAL INTE[RNA]TIONAL EXHIBITION; below, MELBOURNE 1888
Reverse Description: View across Yarra River from South, Falls at right with rower below; on North bank tents or crude huts, trees and gardeners in background; on South bank three trees and Aboriginal (?) with spear waving or fishing; around on wide border, MELBOURNE AT THE FALLS IN 1837
Edge Description: Plain
Inscriptions: Plain (edge)
Shape: round/holed
Material: Silver
Place & Date Depicted: Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, 1837 & 1888
Issued By: Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, 1888
References: Car.1888/11

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