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Medal - Melbourne Exhibition Prize, Victoria, Australia, 1854 Numismatics Reg. No: NU 34982

Summary:
Australia Victoria Melbourne
Melbourne Exhibition Prize Medal 1854 (AD)
Mint: Royal Mint London
Awarded to: Museum
Other Details: A silver prize medal awarded to the Museum at the 1854 Melbourne Exhibition. The Museum's entry was the first accepted for the exhibition. It included 76 mineral specimens, four of which were fossils. The entry was entitled 'Mining and Mineral Products - Collection of Minerals from the Government Museum'. The medal 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. The medal also features 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. 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 silver prize medal (64 mm diameter) awarded to the Museum for a display of minerals and natural history specimens 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:
Won, 1854
Discipline: Numismatics
Dimensions: 63 mm (Diameter)
Weight: 167.932 g (Weight)

More information

Tagged with: exhibitions, minerals, museum history, natural history
Themes this item is part of: Public Life & Institutions Collection, J.S. & A.B. Wyon, Engravers, London, England, Royal Mint, London, Royal Mint, Tower Hill, 1809-1975, Early History of London Mints, to 1300, The Royal Mint
On Display at: Melbourne Museum
Primary Classification: MEDALS
Secondary Classification: Civil
Tertiary Classification: melbourne exhibition 1854
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: Impressed: 1 * MUSEUM * COLLECTION OF MINERALS, NATURAL HISTORY $c. * PRIZE MEDAL *
Inscriptions: Edge: Impressed; 1 * MUSEUM * COLLECTION OF MINERALS, NATURAL HISTORY $c. * PRIZE MEDAL *
Obverse: MELBOURNE EXHIBITION above the Exhibition building, in exergue: VICTORIA / 1854 J.S.WYON SC.
Reverse: no inscription
Shape: Round
Material: Silver
Issued By: Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Mint: Royal Mint, London
Artist: Joseph Wyon
Awarded To: Museum Victoria, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, 1854

This was the first entry accepted for the exhibition. It included 76 mineral specimens, including 4 fossil remains. The entry was entitled Mining and Mineral Products - Collection of Minerals from the Government Museum.
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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