Summary

Australia Victoria Melbourne
Melbourne 1854 Exhibition Prize Medal 1854 (AD)
Mint: Royal Mint London
Awarded to: William Smith
Other Details: A bronze prize medal (64 mm diameter) awarded to William Smith at the 1854 Melbourne Exhibition for 'Assortment of Colonial made Saddlery':- Morocco Side Saddle; Hogskin Side Saddle; Dray and Gig Harness; Hunting Saddles; Engine piping; Police caps and belts; Specimens of Myal Wood for Whip Handles. A variety of English made Saddlery.' The Exhibition opened on 17 December 1854 and ran for 30 days. Around 40,000 people attended - half of Melbourne's population. Melbourne erected its own first exhibition building for the occasion, at the site of the later Royal Mint in William Street. The design of which was based on that 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 William Smith 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

166 * WILLIAM SMITH * SADDLERY * PRIZE MEDAL * note: the DR. seems to be in error, his first name was Daniel - it should have been simply D.

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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