First Order of Merit Certificate awarded to the Trustees of the Exhibition for its timber display at the Melbourne Centennial International Exhibition. The Exhibition was held at the (Royal) Exhibition Building from 1 August 1888 to 31 January 1889. Prize certificates, designed by Mrs Mary Stoddard of Sydney and printed by Sands & McDougall, were presented by the Governor Lord Loch at the closing ceremony which was held under the north dome on 31 January 1889.

Physical Description

Grey and white certificate on cream paper. Elaborate design of figures, ferns and flowers surrounds the printed square. Central figure is a young woman in a classical style, holding laurel wreaths in each hand. Above her sits a woman reading from a book and holding a lamp above her head. Five smaller vignettes surround the central image, each featuring children and representing aspects of Victoria's prosperity - fleece, wheat, mining and the Arts. At the top of the Certificate sits an Imperial Crown. In the top LH corner is a shield bearing a bullock, fleece, ship and a fish, all important to Victoria's early prosperity.

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