Summary

Australia Victoria Melbourne
Melbourne 1854 Exhibition Prize Medal 1854 (AD)
Mint: Royal Mint London
Awarded to: J. Stone
Other Details: A bronze prize medal (64 mm diameter) awarded to James Stone by the Melbourne 1854 Exhibition for his entry of a portable desk made from blackwood and silver. The medal features a view of the specially built exhibition building as it would have been seen from the Flagstaff Gardens. 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.

Physical Description

A bronze prize medal (64 mm diameter) awarded to J. Stone 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.

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

168 * J. STONE * PORTABLE DESK * PRIZE MEDAL * note: the R of his first name is impressed over an M

Significance

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, 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. -Official Catalogue of the Melbourne Exhibition, 1854, in Connection with the Paris Exhibition, 1855. -D. Tout-Smith 18/12/2003.

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