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This item is on display at Melbourne Museum
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- A Issued By Melbourne, Australia
Medal - Federation of the World, Humanity is Progress, Cole's Book Arcade, Victoria, Australia, circa 1885 Reg. No: NU 20013
- Aternative Name: Token
Medal, Cole's Book Arcade, Federation of the World, Humanity is Progress, circa 1885. This gilt medal is one of a series of medals offering maxims and proverbs issued by E.W. Cole at his Book Arcade. He called the medals 'little missionaries for the spread of educative knowledge' (Dean, 1988, p.36).
According to Sydney Endacott, an employee of Cole, customers were charged three pence for these medals (which he prefers to call tokens) which, when the Arcade was particularly busy, gave them admission to the second-hand books gallery where the orchestra played. Each medal could be exchanged for thee pence worth of goods, but most were kept. The pierced ones were sometimes worn as pendants or on pocket watch chains. The medals served as perpetual advertisements of the Arcade (Victorian Historical Magazine, February 1962). George Dean suggests that the medals were also given in change at Christmas time, and could be used to operate amusement machines (presumably including the symphonion and hens, although these only required one penny to operate).
Cole had his first medal stuck in 1879 and his last one about 1903. The medals were variously gilded, silvered or bronzed, replicating the coinage then circulating, or plated with nickel or white metal. The medal blanks were usually made of copper or brass, but some might have been bronze; aluminium was also sometimes used. In all, perhaps 300,000 medals were struck, in 97 types. Only 50 types are known to have circulated (George Dean, 1988, A Handbook on E.W. Cole: His Book Arcade, Tokens and Medals).
- A gilt bronze medal (31 mm diameter) featuring a tree fern and a thought provoking maxim.
- Acquisition Information:
- Transfer from National Gallery of Victoria (NGV), George McArthur, 1976
|Dimensions:||31 mm (Diameter)|
|Weight:||9.75 g (Weight)|
|Tagged with:||advertising, booksellers, retailing, world federation, vicodinn57ivd|
|Themes this item is part of:||Edward William Cole, Bookseller (1832-1918), Cole's Book Arcade Collection, George McArthur, Collector & Baker (1842-1903), Numismatics & Philately Collection, Public Life & Institutions Collection|
|On Display at:||Melbourne Museum|
|Tertiary Classification:||commerce & retailing|
|Series:||Cole's Book Arcade Medals|
|DateEra:||circa 1885 AD|
|Obverse Description:||Tree fern in centre; around above, HUMANITY IS PROGRESS to left of fern, THE REIGN OF IGNORANCE AND FORCE IS GOING to right, THE REIGN OF KNOWLEDGE AND HUMANITY IS COMING|
|Reverse Description:||Above rainbow, HUMANITY IS THE EQUITY OF THE HEART HUMANITY IS THE FAIREST FLOWER THAT BLOOMS IN THE HUMAN BREAST below rainbow in tiny letters, FEDERATION OF THE / WORLD MEDALS / ISSUED / BY E.W. COLE / BOOK ARCADE MELBOURNE|
|Inscriptions:||Obverse: HUMANITY IS PROGRESS THE REIGN OF IGNORANCE AND FORCE IS GOING THE REIGN OF KNOWLEDGE AND HUMANITY IS COMING
Reverse: HUMANITY IS THE EQUITY OF THE HEART HUMANITY IS THE FAIREST FLOWER THAT BLOOMS IN THE HUMAN BREAST FEDERATION OF THE WORLD MEDALS ISSUED BY E.W. COLE BOOK ARCADE MELBOURNE
|Issued By:||Cole's Book Arcade, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, circa 1885|
|References:||Chitty 24; Dean 32|