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Medal - Centenary of Government of Victoria & The Discovery of Gold, State Government of Victoria, Australia, 1951 Numismatics Reg. No: NU 33504

Medal commemorating the Centenary of Government of Victoria and the Discovery of Gold, commissioned by the Victorian Government, designed by Andor Mészáros and minted by K.G. Luke, Melbourne, 1951.

1951 marked the centenary of Victoria's separation from the colony of New South Wales. As part of the celebrations, the Victorian Government commissioned this medal from Andor Mészáros. Drawing on his classical background, Meszaros developed the imagery for 'Equality and Justice through Freedom'. The man holding the torch represents equality; the blindfolded woman holding a sword is the symbol of justice, and both are mounted on a horse that has broken its shackles. It features on the reverse a design of a pair of gold prospectors working a sluice on the reverse. There was another version of this medal which depicted a banksia and bottlebrush. The medal was intended to be presented to notable individuals; this one was not awarded to anyone.
Statement Of Significance:
For over half a century, sculptors Andor (1900-1973) and Michael (1945- ) Meszaros have created medals that reflect the high points of life in Australia. From major awards and portraits of eminent Australians to artwork celebrating popular culture and the natural world, these objects illuminate our culture and history. Grounded in a centuries-old European art tradition, the medals create connections across disciplines and link such diverse subjects as scientific advances, religious themes, sport, the performing arts and motherhood. Through their public and private commissions and their personal artworks, the Meszaros sculptors have defined the modern Australian medal.
Discipline: Numismatics
Dimensions: 56 mm (Width), 56 mm (Diameter)
Dimension Comment: Stored in dark red case with State arms in gold on top.

More information

Tagged with: gold, centenaries, governments, commemorative medals, medals
Themes this item is part of: Andor Mészáros, Medal Artist (1900-1972), K.G. Luke, Medal & Trophy Makers, Melbourne, Victoria, Public Life & Institutions Collection, Migration Collection, Numismatics & Philately Collection, Pinches Mint, Medal Makers, London, England, Meszaros Medals Collection
On Display at: Melbourne Museum
Primary Classification: MEDALS
Secondary Classification: Commemorative
Tertiary Classification: centenary of victoria
Series: Australian Commemorative Medals
DateEra: 1951 AD
Obverse Description: Horse bounding left, broken shackles on foreleg, carrying woman holding sword (Justice) and man holding torch (Equality); around, EQUALITY AND JUSTICE THROUGH FREEDOM
Reverse Description: Two gold miners; above, CENTENARY OF GOVERNMENT OF VICTORIA 1851 - 1951. / AWARDED TO
Edge Description: Plain
Shape: round
Material: Bronze
Issued By: State Government of Victoria Treasury, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, 1951
Mint: Pinches, London (Mint), London, England, Great Britain, 1951
Artist: Andor Mészáros, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, 1951
References: Car.1951/4
  1. [Catalogue] Sharples, John P. 1990. Medals as Art: Australia and the Meszaros Tradition.
  2. [Article] Jewell, Raymond T. 1986. Michael Meszaros: The Man and his Medals. Journal of the Numismatic Association of Australia. 2: 4-24.


Geoff Gay Posted on 02 May 2010 10:23 AM
Medal- Centenary of Government of Victoria & Discovery of Gold Reg. No. NU33504
Could you please advise how many of these were issued, and to whom were they awarded.
I was one of the recipients, then aged 11 yrs., for a Jubilee Train essay competition.
Many Thanks Geoff Gay
Discovery Centre Posted on 20 May 2010 3:41 PM
Museum Victoria Comment
Hi Geoff, according to Leslie Carlisle's Australian Historical Medals two versions of these were minted. The first, of which 102 were produced, didn't have 'Awarded to' on the reverse and also had a plant on the back rather than the two gold prospectors. It was minted in London by Pinches. Of the version we have above it is not known how many were produced. We were unable to find out to whom they were awarded, but perhaps someone else can help?
Jenny Fawcett Posted on 21 Dec 2011 9:37 PM
Hi. I too have one of the medallions, it has the flowers on the back (not the Miners) and it does not have the word "Awarded To" on it. My late father in law told us it was given to him (I think) from his uncle, who worked ? for the Government at Parliament. He had told us that two different ones were minted.
Ours has the artist's name on the front near the horse' tail, and his initials on the back near the stake holding up the plants
Jenny Fawcett

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