Key used by the Governor of Victoria, Sir Henry Loch, to formally open the Melbourne Centennial International Exhibition on 1 August 1888.

The Exhibition, celebrating a century of Australian settlement, surpassed even the grand scale of the1880 Melbourne International Exhibition. It attracted over two million people, but the Victorian government had to spend £250 000 on it, ten times the amount estimated. The exhibition had a distinctively imperial focus, and a greater emphasis on culture than in 1880, particularly on music and painting. A choir of 5000 sang music old and new, and 500,000 people attended symphony concerts. There were over 3000 paintings on display, including works by artists like JMW Turner and C Lutyens. The Exhibition Building in Carlton Gardens was lit inside and out by electric lights, claimed to be the largest installation of arc lighting in the world.

Obverse Description

Enamelled arms of Melbourne surrounded etc. Motto; 'VIRES ACQUIRIT EUNDO'.

Reverse Description

Arms of Sir Henry Loch motto, 'ASSIDUITATE NON DESIDIA'; small gold nugget below.

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