Summary

Australia Victoria Melbourne
International Exhibition Commemorative Medal 1888-9 (AD)
Centennial International Exhibition Bazaar 6d Voucher
Mint: Stokes & Martin
Other Details: An silver commemorative medal of the Centennial International Bazaar which also represented a six pence discount voucher at the Athenaeum; featuring a view from above of the Exhibition Building and the extensive additions made for the 1888 exhibition. The 1888 Centennial International Exhibition, celebrating a century of Australian settlement, surpassed even the grand scale of the1880 Melbourne International Exhibition. It attracted over two million people, but the Victorian government had to spend £250 000 on it, ten times the amount estimated. The exhibition had a distinctively imerial focus, and a greater emphasis on culture than in 1880, particularly on music and painting. A choir of five thousand sang music old and new, and half a million people attended symphony concerts. There were over three thousand paintings on display, including works by artists like J.M.W. Turner and C. Lutyens. The Exhibition Building in Carlton Gardens was lit inside and out by electric lights, claimed to be the largest installation of arc lighting in the world.

Physical Description

An silver medal and six pence discount voucher of the Centennial International Bazaar featuring a view from above of the Exhibition Building and the extensive additions made for the 1888 exhibition with the words above, COVERS 35 1/2 ACRES, and in exergue, CIE / MELBOURNE. On the reverse at the centre, * 6D, * / VOUCHER / ATHENAEUM; around , CENTENNIAL INTERNATIONAL BAZAAR * 1888-9 *

Obverse Description

View from above of the Exhibition Building and the extensive additions made for the 1888 exhibition with the words above, COVERS 35 1/2 ACRES, and in exergue, CIE / MELBOURNE.

Reverse Description

At the centre, * 6D, * / VOUCHER / ATHENAEUM; around , CENTENNIAL INTERNATIONAL BAZAAR * 1888-9 *

Edge Description

PLain

Significance

Exhibitions in Melbourne became a regular occurrence from the middle of the nineteenth century, becoming grander and larger each time. The 1888 Centennial International Exhibition, celebrating a century of Australian settlement, surpassed even the grand scale of the1880 Melbourne International Exhibition. It had more British and imperial resonance. It attracted over two million people, but the Victorian government had to spend £250 000 on it, ten times the amount estimated. The sum seemed absurd after the economic boom came to an end in 1889. There was a greater emphasis on culture than in 1880, particularly on music and painting. A choir of five thousand sang music old and new, and half a million people attended symphony concerts. There were over three thousand paintings on display, including works by artists like J.M.W. Turner, C. Lutyens and Frederic Leighton. The building was lit inside and out by electric lights, claimed to be the largest installation of arc lighting in the world. -REB World Heritage Nomination, Environment Australia, 2002. -D. Tout-Smith 23/10/2003.

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