Lithographed certificate awarded to Thomas Gaunt for his exhibit of a Turret Clock at Victoria's Jubilee Exhibition, held within Melbourne's Exhibition Building between November 1884 and January 1885. Lithograph by Troedel & Co.

In the years between the closing of the Melbourne International Exhibition of 1880-81 and the opening of the Melbourne Centennial Exhibition of 1888-89, the Trustees of Melbourne's Exhibition Building sought to see their building used. A Melbourne businessman, John Hanlon Knipe, organised an exhibition 'of arts and sciences', in order to commemorate the Jubilee of the settlement of Victoria in 1834 -35. The Trustees agreed to rent the building to Mr Knipe for three months. It was opened on 1 November 1884. Many firms exhibited their wares (and some sold them, to the chagrin of merchants and shopkeepers of the city); and there were musical concerts, a representation of an old London street, performances on the drums by Signor Canna, and magic performances by the Fakir of Oolu.

At the opening, a choir of 1,000 school children performed the Old Hundredth and the Jubilee Anthem, and there were additional musical items. Towards the end of the Exhibition, a deputation of shopkeepers and theatrical lessees waited on the Trustees of the Exhibition Building, complaining that the sales that took place within the building damaged their businesses, and that 'though nominally an exhibition of arts and sciences, the exhibition had in fact been a variety show'. (The Australian, 7 February 1885).

Physical Description

Certificate showing a female figure representing Victoria. She is wearing classical style robes and is standing on a platform with her right elbow resting on a Corinthian column. In her hand is a scroll reading Noble & Useful Works. In her left hand is a cornucopia overflowing with fruit, books & other produce. The platform on which she is standing is heavily inscribed and explains that the certificate was awarded to Thomas Gaunt for his exhibit of a Turret Clock at the Victorian Jubilee Exhibition held at the Exhibition Building between November 1884 and January 1885. All exhibitors were Victorian to celebrate Victoria's first 50 years. Certificate contains the seal of J.H. Knipe, Proprietor of this private exhibition. The certificate is underlayed with an image of the Exhibition Buildings in green-grey. Lithograph by Troedel & Co.

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