Unusual trade exhibition auction excites collectors

Author: Richard Brewster | Posted: 17th October, 2016

An album carrying historic photographs of the 1880 Melbourne International Exhibition is among a comprehensive collection of Australia’s involvement in trade exhibitions from 1851 to the advent of Expos in the mid-20th century that will be auctioned by Mossgreen from 1pm Tuesday October 18 at 926-930 High Street, Armadale.

The collection belongs to John Lancaster, whose involvement in organised philately stretches back 40 years.

Lancaster was a senior figure in Austrade and spent four decades of travelling and understanding the global marketplace and the machinations of international trade.

His extensive collection combines a passion for postal history and the history and growth of Australia as a trading powerhouse.

It features a unique array of documents, letters, photographs, medals, reports, catalogues, certificates and mementos – and an incredible range of postal history and stationery associated with both small and large trade exhibitions.

The album “Melbourne International Exhibition 1880” contains 61 mounted exhibition photographs taken by official photographer Ludovico Wolfgang Hart and published by the Victorian Government Printing Office.

It was presented to the Superintendent of Juries and Awards, James Cosmo Newbery CMG, and carries his name in gilt on the front cover.

According to researcher Dr Robert Wilson at the National Gallery of Victoria, only three copies are known to exist. 

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