On display

This item is on display at Melbourne Museum

Melbourne Museum

Where is it from?

Association locations map

Tags

Add your own tags:
Separate multiple tags using a comma

Similar items over time

Medal - Acclimatization Society of Victoria, Silver, Australia, 1868 Numismatics Reg. No: NU 20066

Summary:
Silver medal awarded by the Acclimatization Society of Victoria in 1868, featuring a menagerie of exotic animals.

In the mid 19th century in Australia and New Zealand, acclimatization societies were established to introduce exotic plants and animals. They hoped to make the alien environment feel more like home, to beautify their gardens, provide sport for hunters and 'aggrandise' the colony. But above all, they wanted to make the land economically productive.

The Acclimatization Society of Victoria was founded in 1861 by Edward Wilson, a private collector whose motto was 'if it lives, we want it'. Wilson was supported by Henry Barkly, science patron and later governor. The Acclimatization Society was primarily responsible for the introduction of starlings, sparrows and European carp in the Murray River. The Melbourne Zoo was established by the Acclimatization Society to house imported animals prior to their release. At the same time, government botanist Ferdinand von Mueller focused on the introduction of plant species from other parts of Australia and elsewhere in the world. Some - like blackberries - initially proved productive, but became noxious weeds or pests. The Acclimatization Society of Victoria folded about 1872, as the implications of its actions began to be realised.
Description:
A silver medal (57 mm. diameter) depicting imported animals and plants. The obverse features a wreath of imported plants (including grape vines and wheat) bound with inscribed ribbon, and the southern cross within. The reverse features a scene with trees and animals: rabbit, hare, swan, deer, pheasant, goat, alpaca and small bird in flight above.
Acquisition Information:
Transfer from National Gallery of Victoria (NGV), 1976
Discipline: Numismatics
Dimensions: 57 mm (Diameter)
Dimension Comment: Weight > 100 g.

More information

Tagged with: acclimatisation societies, rabbits
Themes this item is part of: Acclimatization Society of Victoria, Migration Collection, Numismatics & Philately Collection, Public Life & Institutions Collection, J.S. & A.B. Wyon, Engravers, London, England, J.S. & A.B. Wyon, Engravers, London, England, J.S. & A.B. Wyon, Engravers, London, England, Williamstown Rifle Range, Victoria
On Display at: Melbourne Museum
Primary Classification: MEDALS
Secondary Classification: Civil
Tertiary Classification: natural sciences
Series: Australian Research Medals
DateEra: 1868 AD
Obverse Description: At centre, across four stars of the Southern Cross, VICTORIA; around, ACCLIMATIZATION SOCIETY * around the centre a wreath of imported plants (including grape vines and wheat) bound with ribbon inscribed, OMNIA TELLUS OMNES FERET
Reverse Description: Scene with trees and animals: rabbit, hare, swan, deer, pheasant, goat, alpaca and small bird in flight above; in exergue,
J.S. & A.B. WYON SC. / 1868 / T. LANSEER A.B.A. ADJ.
Edge Description: Plain
Inscriptions: Obverse: 'ACCLIMATIZATION SOCIETY VICTORIA OMNIA TELLUS OMNES FERET'.

Reverse: 'J.S. & A.B. WYON SC. 1868 T. LANSEER A.B.A. ADJ.'
Shape: Round
Material: Silver
Issued By: Acclimatization Society of Victoria, Victoria, Australia, 1868
Mint: Wyon (Mint), London, England, Great Britain, 1868
Artist: Joseph Wyon, London, England, Great Britain, 1868
Artist: A. Wyon, London, England, Great Britain, 1868
References: Carlisle (1983), reference # 1868/3
Bibliography:
  1. [Book], Eric Rolls, And They All Ran Wild, Angus & Robertson Ltd
  2. [Book], Leslie Carlisle, Australian commemorative medals and medalets from 1788, B & C Press, Sydney, 1983

Comments

Ian Menkins Posted on 05 Jan 2010 5:37 PM
Attitudes often change over time. We frown upon the Acclimatization Society today, thinking that we are the enlightened ones who have figured out what is best for our environment. The Society obviously thought that they were doing a wonderful job at the time. They clearly adhered to a belief that all animals and plants have intrinsic value and can be put to some use. Many of our modern environmental policies may also be ridiculed in the future. Nobody can predict what will happen and why should our ideas be viewed as superior? Who knows, in a few hundred years time, in an overpopulated world of dwindling resources, people may well be forced into a greater appreciation of their naturalized flora and fauna. Instead of shooting them and poisoning them as we do today, people may see them as a valued and reliable food source.

Add your comment

  • Museum Victoria does not provide valuations, for more information please visit the valuation infosheet
  • Please note that Museum Victoria staff will not normally respond to comments posted on our website.
Yes No