Where is it from?

Association locations map

Similar items over time

Medal - International Exhibition, Sydney, Bronze Prize, New South Wales, Australia, 1879 Numismatics Reg. No: NU 20571

Australia New South Wales Sydney
International Exhibition Prize 1879 - 1880 (AD)
Mint: Sydney

Other Details: This unissued medal was part of the Sydney Mint collection. It was purchased by Dr William Howat at the closure in 1926 and given to the National Gallery of Victoria. The Sydney International Exhibition was the first true international exhibition that an Australian colony had hosted. Previous exhibitions had been local or intercolonial. The International Exhibition was held in a purpose-built building at Inner Domain, featuring 15 acres of display area and a main dome 210 feet high. Four towers of this 'Garden Palace' provided spectacular views of the city and harbour, and the galleries were illuminated with stained glass skylights. The Exhibition was opened by His Excellency Lord Augustus Loftus on 17 September 1879, whose arrival in Sydney from England the previous month as the new Governor of New South Wales had been received with great enthusiasm. The Exhibition attracted over 1.1 million visitors, at a time when the population of New South Wales was 739,385. Awards for exhibitors were announced by the judges on the closing day, 20 April 1880. Gold, large silver, small silver and bronze medals and diplomas were awarded. The medal's obverse was based on a design by Samuel Begg and subsequently altered by J.S. and A.B. Wyon, who prepared the dies. The wreath of Australian flowers on the reverse was designed by James W. Sayers. The gold and silver medals were struck at the Sydney branch of the Royal Mint, and the bronze medals were struck in London. About 7,554 awards were made. The exhibition was so popular that the government purchased many of the prize exhibits and set up the Technological, Industrial and Sanitary Museum, the grandparent of the Powerhouse Museum. The Garden Palace burned down in 1882.
A large bronze prize medal (76 mm) featuring a view of the Sydney Garden Palace Exhibition Building with a figure of New South Wales standing in front holding the colonial shield and surrounded by exhibition goods.
Acquisition Information:
Transfer from National Gallery of Victoria (NGV), 1976
Discipline: Numismatics
Dimensions: 76 mm (Diameter)

More information

Tagged with: exhibitions, iconography
Themes this item is part of: Public Life & Institutions Collection, J.S. & A.B. Wyon, Engravers, London, England, J.S. & A.B. Wyon, Engravers, London, England, Royal Mint, Medal Makers, Sydney, New South Wales, Royal Mint, London, Branch Mints of the Royal Mint, Royal Mint, Tower Hill, 1809-1975, Early History of London Mints, to 1300, The Royal Mint
Primary Classification: MEDALS
Secondary Classification: Civil
Tertiary Classification: exhibition prizes
Series: Australian Exhibition Medals
DateEra: 1879 AD
Obverse Description: Figure of New South Wales surrounded by works of industry before exhibition building; around, * INTERNATIONAL * EXHIBITION * SYDNEY N.S.W.* M.D.CCC.LXXIX
in exergue, waves, below these waves in tiny letters the artists names, J.S. & A.B. WYON
Reverse Description: Wreath of Australian flora below in tiny letters, J.S. & A.B. WYON
Edge Description: Plain
Inscriptions: Plain (edge)
Figure of New South Wales surrounded by works of industry before exhibition building; around, *INTERNATIONAL*EXHIBITION* SYDNEY N.S.W.* etc. (obverse)
Wreath of Australian native flora below, J.S.& A.B. WYON (reverse)
Shape: round
Material: Bronze
Issued By: Australian International Exhibition Commissioners, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia, 1879-1880
Mint: Royal Mint, London, London, England, Great Britain, 1879
Artist: Joseph Wyon, London, England, Great Britain
Artist: A. Wyon
Artist: Mr James Sayer
Artist: Mr Samuel Begg
Previous Collection: Royal Mint, Sydney Branch, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia, 1879-1926
Previous Collection: Dr William Howat, Australia, 1926

Purchased by Dr William Howat at the closure of the Sydney Branch of the Royal Mint in 1926 and later given to the National Gallery of Victoria (NGV).
References: HOCK.P.261
  1. [Article] Carlisle, Leslie J. 1978. Australia's First International Exhibition: Sydney 1879. Report of the Australian Numismatic Society. Yearbook No.3: 22-31.
  2. [Book], Robert Freestone, Roslyn Maguire, Peter Proudfoot, Colonial City, Global City: Sydney's International Exhibition 1879, Crossing Press, Darlinghurst, 2000
  3. [Book], Official Record of the Sydney International Exhibition, 1879, Sydney, 1881

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