View of glassware by Leon Baudoux & Co. in the Belgian Court in the central temporary annexe on the eastern side of the main avenue at the 1880 Melbourne International Exhibition held at the Exhibition Buildings, Carlton Gardens, between 1 October 1880 and 30 April 1881.

In addition to the main permanent Exhibition Building, two permanent annexes as well as a large, central wooden temporary annexe were constructed to house the courts of various countries, or to include larger items from countries already represented in the main Building.

The main avenue was the central corridor that extended through the temporary annexes, leading northwards from the main permament Exhibition Buildings. Many of the major European countries had their courts situated on the western side of the main avenue, while the eastern side included exhibits from smaller countries and from other Australian colonies. The Belgian Court was situated on the northern side of the Japanese Court and opposite the Dutch Court. An east-west avenue separated the Belgian and Dutch Courts, taking visitors to the Exhibition eastwards from the main avenue towards Nicholson Street and the British Machinery Annexe.

The glass manufacturing firm of Leon Baudoux & Co. exhibited under class 12, Photographic Proofs and Apparatus, where they exhibited 'photographic engravings on white and coloured sheet-glass'. Also visible in this image are the display of copies of artworks. As the Argus noted: 'In the passage dividing the front and rear portions of the Belgian court there are some excellent photographs on glass of pictures by celebrated Flemish masters. They are intended for windows, and are exhibited by Messrs. Leon Baudoux and Co.'

This is one of sixty-one photographs in a presentation photograph album titled '1880 Melbourne International Exhibition' presented to Thomas B. Hill. Hill was the Assistant Secretary of the 1880 Melbourne International Exhibition. This leather bound album was given to Hill, and all the Exhibition Commissioners, by the Exhibition Trustees. The photographer is believed to be Ludovico Hart, acting on a private commission from the Exhibition Trustees.

Description of Content

International Exhibition at Exhibition Building, Melbourne, 1880: interior view showing a display of glassware in the Belgian court. The coat of arms of the southern Belgian county of Hainaut is visible at the top of the nearest pillar, while the coat of arms of Beligum, depicting a single rampant lion, can be seen mounted on the pillar behind the glassware display.

Physical Description

Monochrome, gold-toned, silver gelatin photograph in a black leather bound album with decorative gold tooled border and gold tooled lettering in centre of front cover. Inside, 61 monochrome photographic plates showing exterior and interior views of the 1880 International Exhibition, held at the Royal Exhibition Building, Melbourne. Each photograph is mounted on heavy buff coloured card and has a simple black line border with a title beneath the photograph.


The Royal Exhibition Building has played an important role in Melbourne's social commercial and sporting life since it was built for the Melbourne International Exhibition in 1880. The building's size and scale provide us with a physical example of 'boom-time' Melbourne in 1880. The international exhibitions of the late 1800s provided the fledgling Australian colonies with a forum in which to showcase their progress in commerce and industry to the world. This album is significant for its detailed visual record of the first international exhibition held in Melbourne. It has clear views of the colonial & international courts, as well as specific prominent exhibits. It also provides a contemporary view of the Exhibition Building interior and exterior in the year it was constructed.

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