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Medal - Exposition Universelle, Bronze, by Louis Bottee, Paris, France, 1889 Numismatics Reg. No: NU 18557

Medal awarded to Hans W.H. Irvine at the Exposition Universelle Paris in 1889.

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.

"The Irvine Wine Collection was acquired by Museum Victoria in 1989. It represents the history of the Great Western Vineyard and the achievements of Hans William Henry Irvine, vigneron and politician, from 1888 until 1922. It comprises 130 items ranging from publications, marketing items, packaging materials, wine labels, award medals, ceramics, illuminated address, commemorative trowel, trophy plaques, wine makers tools, and silverware."
A bronze medal (63 mm diameter) awarded at the Exposition Universelle in 1889 won by Hans Irvine for wine. It features "France" seated right crowning a male artisan seated on an anvil above a view of exhibition grounds and Victory seated on tree branch blowing trumpet and holding bust of France.
Discipline: Numismatics
Dimensions: 63 mm (Diameter)
Weight: 105.728 g (Weight)

More information

Tagged with: agriculture, art medals, exhibitions, wine, bronze medals, j.b.vallon
Themes this item is part of: Great Western Winery Timeline 1858-1922, Hans William Henry Irvine, Vigneron & Politician (1856-1922), Public Life & Institutions Collection, Sustainable Futures Collection, Louis Alexandre Bottée, Medal Engraver, France (1852-1941), Hans William Henry Irvine, Vigneron & Politician (1856-1922)
Primary Classification: MEDALS
Secondary Classification: Civil
Tertiary Classification: agricultural prizes
Series: French Prize Medals
DateEra: 1889 AD
Obverse Description: "France" seated r. crowning artisan seated l. on anvil above view of exhibition grounds; around EXPOSITION UNIVERSELLE; between figures, 1889
Reverse Description: Victory seated on tree branch blowing trumpet and holding bust of France; at left, REPUBLIQUE/FRANCAISE; below on plaque, HANS IRVINE.
Edge Description: Stamped BRONZE at obv. 04.
Inscriptions: Obverse: EXPOSITION UNIVERSELLE 1889; and the artist's name Louis Bottee
Reverse: REPUBLIQUE FRANCAISE; HANS IRVINE. and the artist's name Louis Bottee
Edge: Stamped BRONZE
Shape: round
Material: Bronze
Issued By: 1899 Exposition Universelle, Paris, Paris, France, 1889
Mint: Paris (Mint), France, 1889
Artist: Louis Bottee, France, 1889
Awarded To: Mr Hans Irvine - Great Western Vineyards & Champagne Cellars, Great Western, Victoria, Australia, 1889


Andy Kaufman Posted on 28 Feb 2010 11:53 PM
This medal "Medal awarded to Hans W.H. Irvine at the Exposition Universelle Paris in 1899" is 1889 not 1899. One can clearly see it in the photo. Please correct the information everywhere in your descriptions.
Discovery Centre Posted on 01 Mar 2010 3:11 PM
Museum Victoria Comment
Hi Andy, thanks for the pick up! We will update the details in the record as soons as possible.
Andy Schwarz Posted on 03 Mar 2010 10:43 AM
Have the bronze medal from Exposition Universelle 1889 issued to N.Geliot & Fils. Any idea what is worth?
Discovery Centre Posted on 03 Mar 2010 3:32 PM
Museum Victoria Comment
Hi there, Andy. Unfortunately we don't offer valuations. For further information and useful links, see the article at the following part of our website: http://museumvictoria.com.au/discoverycentre/infosheets/valuations/
Chris Posted on 05 Dec 2011 4:10 AM
I have two of these medals. One is bronze, and one is silvered bronze. Both were struck at the Monnaies de Paris as evidenced by the "Cornucopia" and "BRONZE" imprinted on the edge.

The remarkable thing about both is that the recipients of these medals are two different individuals, but the names are raised on the medal (as opposed to being engraved) and the fonts are identical which suggests that the names were made part of separate reverse dies. How many of these dies did the Mint prepare? Did the Mint have facilities on the Exposition grounds to prepare the dies and strike the medals?

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