Plaque awarded to Heinrich (Henry) Munzel at the 1866 Inter-Colonial Exhibition. It was awarded for a model double spiral staircase made from Brazilwood, which Henry had crafted in Pernambuco, Brazil between 1835 and 1850. Henry brought the model with him when he migrated from Brazil, and entered it Sandhurst Divison of the Inter-Colonial Exhibition, where it was awarded an Honourable Mention.

The Munzel family history includes the extraordinary story that the plaque was used in earlier times as a trivet for laundering irons. This damaged its edges. In 1980 it was restored and framed.

The Intercolonial Exhibition was held from 23 October 1866 until 23 February 1867 in a new exhibition area at the rear of the Public Library. Seen as 'a temple of industry' it celebrated the wealth created from Victoria's goldfields and the colony's growing confidence in its manufacturing and industrial future. Nearly 3,000 exhibits were on display and it attracted almost 100,000 visitors. Five days after its closure exhibitors were invited to contribute objects to form the nucleus for the Industrial and Technological Museum which was established in 1870.

Physical Description

Copper plaque mounted in timber

Obverse Description

On the right, the personification of Victoria, standing facing left and holding palm in left hand while receiving her "six sisters" who each bring a contribution; Behind Victoria is a Lion's head perhaps representing one of the lions that flanked the Museum (where the Exhibition was held). Behind the 'six sisters' an ancient ship's prow. Around above, hand engraved, the Latin 'FACIES NON OMNIBUS UNA NEC DIVERSA TAMEN QUALEM DECET ESSE SORORUM' [translates as: "They all look different and yet alike : as sisters would"]. Around, below 'INTERCOLONIAL EXHIBITION / VICTORIA / 1866'. In exergue, 'MEDAL AWARDED TO / H. MUNZELL [sic].'

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