Sepia photograph showing part of the Victorian Court at the Melbourne International Exhibition 1880-81, taken by Charles Nettleton, circa 1880.

This photograph is part of a small group of five photographs and one glass negative taken by Charles Nettleton during 1870 - 1895. They feature views of significant Melbourne buildings and interiors including the Treasury Building, the Old Museum, and the (Royal) Exhibition Building. The small collection is significant as it provides a visual record of Melbourne's early development, and also reveals the work of an important local photographer.

Charles Nettleton was a prolific outdoor photographer who worked over a period of forty years in Australia, after moving to Melbourne from the United Kingdom in 1854. He became well known for his photographic expertise and in 1858, opened his own studio. In 1867, he was appointed official Royal photographer in Australia and he also worked as the official police photographer for over 25 years in the 1860s - 1880s. His photographs were exhibited at international exhibitions in Dublin in 1865, Paris in 1867 and Sydney in 1879. Nettleton retired in 1890, as new dry plate photographic technology made the wet place process he employed redundant. His photographs are held by major institutions around Australia.

The Royal Exhibition Building, Melbourne was constructed for the 1880 -1881 International Exhibition, designed by Joseph Reed and built by David Mitchell. Over 1.3 million people visited the exhibition at a time when Melbourne's population was only around 282,000.

Description of Content

Sepia photograph showing part of the Victorian Court at the Melbourne International Exhibition 1880-81. The image shows aspects of the Victorian exhibits that relate to the Royal Mint along with an array of specimen cabinets. Small bags are heaped in a pyramid shape as the central display object. A small view of the South Australian court is visible in the background.

Physical Description

Monochrome photograph mounted in a frame of heavy buff coloured card.

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