Australian Historical Medals
SEPARATION OF VICTORIA, 1850, in white metal (51mm) (C.1850/1), plain edge with milled rims, holed above crown as issued by A.Ronalds Engr, obverse, a circle divided into quadrants with heavily embossed sun at centre, the mottoes of the symbolic quadrants' designs are opposite them in a peripheral annulus and they read 'How Sweet Is Liberty. Maternal Affection. Separate But Still United. Adieu.', reverse, 'Commemorative/of the/Great Charter/of/Self Government/Granted to the/Colony/of/Victoria/Augst. 5th/1850', surrounded by a wreath of British emblems, namely the rose, thistle and shamrock, divided by a crown above, at the base in small script, A.Ronalds Engr. Nearly extremely fine and extremely rare.
Alfred Ronalds (1802-1860) born in London, immigrated to Australia arriving in Williamstown, Victoria, February 1849 with his six children. He proceeded to Geelong and within a short time set up his business and placed advertisements in the 'Geelong Advertiser', his first entry being 'Alfred Ronalds, Draughtsman, Engraver and Copper Plate Printer'. He brought with him from England the equipment he needed for this business venture.
On 11 November 1850 the vessel 'Lysander' brought news to the residents of Port Phillip that they had been granted separation from New South Wales. The Separation Act had been passed by British Parliament on 1 August and received Royal Assent on 5 August. From the 1 July 1851 the Port Phillip District was to become the separate Colony of Victoria. Ronalds was inspired by this news so he decided to produce a medal as an everlasting memento of the birth of this new Colony. It was purely a private commercial venture without official sponsorship. The simple but effective drop hammer process must have been used to strike the medals as there was no coining press in Australia, much less in Geelong. The number struck is not known, however the great rarity of this piece would indicate it would have been minimal. This was Alfred Ronalds' first and only medal production.
The first medal struck in Australasia and extremely rare with the only other recorded sale in the last seventy one years being the Jewell/Chapman example.
Ex John Houstone Collection.
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SEPARATION OF VICTORIA, 1850, in white metal (51mm) (C.1850/1), plain edge with milled rims, holed ...