Coloured printed invitation to an evening reception held at the Exhibition Building, Melbourne, on the evening of 9 May 1901 at which the Duke and Duchess of Cornwall and York were in attendance, extended to Professor WB Spencer and Mrs Spencer.
The design was produced by Sydney-based father and son artists, Julian and Howard Ashton, whose names appear in the lower right corner of the design.

Physical Description

Coloured printed invitation to an evening reception held at the Exhibition Building, Melbourne printed on paper mounted on embossed board. The two women represent Britannia on the left, holding an oval shield emblazoned with the Union Jack, and Victoria on the right, holding a shield of the colony of Victoria; a blue cross against a white background and five stars representing the Southern Cross constellation. Oak-leaf foliate tendrils frame the design, while the British coat of arms depicting a lion and a unicorn is centered along the lower margin.


The invitations is an important addition to the collection related to the Federation celebrations in Melbourne. This collection is a significant subsection of the Museum's Royal Exhibition Building Collection, Australia's only World Heritage built structure.
The majority of events represented by the invitations were held at the Royal Exhibition Building, which was the home of the first Federal Parliament of Australia, until 1927 when it was transferred to the new Parliament House in Canberra. Whilst the Museum already has a few examples of these invitations, it is desirable to acquire several more examples, which will be used as change-overs for those proposed for use in the new Melbourne Exhibition (which will be displayed for the first two years of the exhibition.

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