View of the French colonial courts of Algeria and New Caledonia, appropriated into the allocated space for France in the Western Machinery Annexe 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 was 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.
Although France had the second largest allocation of exhibition space on the eastern side of the central temporary annexe, it still proved insufficient to accomodate the display of material from Algeria and New Caledonia which, although not extensive, had to be accomodated in the Western Machinery Annexe, probably on the eastern wall. Because of its relatively close proximity to Australia, by 1880 a considerable trade was occuring between New Caledonia's capital, Noumea, and Australia.
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 the French Colonies' section.
Monochrome 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.
Transfer from Trustees of the Royal Exhibition Building (REB), 09/1991
Place & Date Depicted
Printed in black ink on card below the photograph: '57. FRENCH COLONIES.'
Type of item
Image Dimensions - Photograph
290 mm (Width), 235 mm (Height)
Dimensions of photograph only
'France', Argus Exhibition Supplement, 6 October 1880, p.13. 'The French Colonies', Argus Exhibition Supplement, 6 January 1881, p.60. On Ludovico Hart see: The Aust'n Photographic Journal, March 20 1896, p.56.
Buildings, Civic Mementoes, Colonial Produce, Colonialism, Exhibitions, Exhibitions: Melbourne International, 1880-1881, French Colonies, Keepsakes, Medal Presentations, Photography, Public Ceremonies, Royal Exhibition Building, Royal Exhibition Building Trustees, Royal Exhibition Building: History of Events, 1879-1899