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Medal - Bordeaux Exhibition Prize, Gold, Societe Philomethique, France, 1895 Numismatics Reg. No: NU 18541

Summary:
Medal awarded to Hans William Henry Irvine for claret at the 13th Exhibition of the Society Philomathique at Bordeaux, France, 1895.

Hans William Henry Irvine, born in Melbourne in 1856, was a successful vigneron and politician, and was known as the 'wine king of Australia'. His largest holding was the Great Western winery, which he owned from 1888-1918. In the early 1890s Irvine purchased two-thirds of the produce of local vignerons, much of which was distilled into his brandy. He also became known for his claret, hock, chablis, burgundy, hermitage, sparkling hock and sparking burgandy. He was an effective self-promoter, and in 1982 entertained the Victorian governor in lavish style. He also pioneered wine advertising. Irvine was particularly interested in the science of wine-making, and used the latest technologies in his cellars. These contributed to his success at a time when so many other Victorian wine-makers were struggling.

In 1892 he was commissioned by the Victorian minister of agriculture to write a report on the Australian wine trade. Two years later he suggested a conference of vignerons to discuss problems facing the industry, and supported the proposal for a college of viticulture and the introduction of phylloxera-resistant American root stocks. He encouraged industry self-regulation through an elected board, the establishment of regional wineries and cheaper finance for investors in the wine industry. He travelled to Europe several times to learn wine-making techniques and arrange sales.
Description:
A gold medal (61 mm diameter, gilt bronze) awarded at the 13th Exhibition of the Society Philomathique at Bordeaux in 1895 won by Hans Irvine for Claret. It features a bust of Bordeaux (given her Latin name Burdigala) wearing a wreath of grape vine and bearing a ship, powered by both steam and sail, on her head, and a scene of the exhibition behind a naked woman entering names in a record book.
Discipline: Numismatics
Dimensions: 62 mm (Diameter)
Dimension Comment: Weight > 100 g

More information

Tagged with: agriculture, exhibitions, wine
Themes this item is part of: Great Western Winery Timeline 1858-1922, Hans William Henry Irvine, Vigneron & Politician (1856-1922), Hans William Henry Irvine, Vigneron & Politician (1856-1922), Public Life & Institutions Collection, Sustainable Futures Collection
Primary Classification: MEDALS
Secondary Classification: Civil
Tertiary Classification: agricultural prizes
Series: French Prize Medals
DateEra: 1895 AD
Obverse Description: Female seated r. entering names in book; behind, view of buildings; below on plaque, AWARDED FOR / CLARET; around, XIIIe EXPOSITION DE BORDEAVX 1895 SOCIETE PHILOMATHIQVE at left the artist's name, A. Rivet
Reverse Description: Bust of Bordeaux (given her Latin name Burdigala) wearing a wreath of grape vine and bearing a ship, powered by both steam and sail, on her head, at right, coat of arms above artist's name A Rivet; on left, BVRDIGALA
Edge Description: HANS W.H. IRVINE, VICTORIA, AUSTRALIA
Inscriptions: Edge: HANS W.H. IRVINE, VICTORIA, AUSTRALIA
Obverse: XIIIe EXPOSITION DE BORDEAVX 1895 SOCIETE PHILOMATHIQVE AWARDED FOR CLARET and the artist's name A. Rivet
Reverse: BVRDIGALA and the artist's name A. Rivet
Shape: round
Material: Gold-plated
Issued By: Societe Philomethique, Bordeaux, France, 1895
Artist: Adolphe Rivet, France, 1895
Awarded To: Mr Hans Irvine - Great Western Vineyards & Champagne Cellars, Great Western, Victoria, Australia, 1895

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