This is a fascinating and fun little gilt bronze Australian medal or token from the 19th century, 1885 era which is also rare and highly sought after. It has a charming maxim encouraging World unity to the front and The Lord's Prayer to the reverse. If like us you have an eclectic taste for items, this is definitely one item that you will want for your cabinet of curiosities as the maker Edward W Cole, a larger than life character, was a like minded spirit....please read on as his Australian book shop, one of THE largest in the World at that time sounds such fun. His ideal of " the power of education and a world without borders" is just as important 100 plus years later......
This gilt medal was one of a series of bronze, silver and gilt medals that Edward Cole had minted between the years 1879 to 1903. The man who had them produced (a canny advertising ploy) was the Melboune second hand book shop owner E. W .Cole. Each of his medals offered a maxim and proverbs, in fact Mr Cole called them 'little missionaries for the spread of educative knowledge'. Cole's book arcade was an assault on all of the senses as not only did he have vast libraries of books that you could read at your leisure but he also created a circus like atmosphere within his arcade. He had a menagerie of animals including monkeys, a fernery, a playing orchestra, a clockwork symphonion and a vast array of other mechanical curiosities. He charged his customers 3 pence for each medal which allowed them entry to the book gallery where the orchestra played. His arcade was THE place to visit with such literary legends as Mark Twain and Rudyard Kipling visiting during their tour of Australia.
Size: Diameter 31 mm or 1.25 inches, 2 mm thick plain edge. Weight approx 11g
Condition: Good and crisp with some surface rubbing to the gilded surface.
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