Historical information

The Warrnambool Industrial and Art Exhibition of 1896-7 was held for three months in the Town Hall/Council Chambers/ Mechanics Institute buildings with additional temporary buildings placed on the Liebig and Timor Streets corner area. It was one of the biggest events ever held in Warrnambool with an estimated 70,000 attending. John Villiers, the owner of a glassware and crockery shop in Liebig Street and a well-known theatrical performer, had a large display stand at the Exhibition. He displayed glassware items from Britain and Europe and sold souvenirs of the Exhibition. Villiers engaged Mr Bartholomew, a Melbourne engraving artist, and he gave engraving exhibitions at Villiers’ stall. Glass etching had not been seen in Warrnambool previous to this. No doubt many of his engraved objects were sold and this glass tumbler would be one of these.


This is a valuable and significant item because:-
1. It is an important souvenir from the Warrnambool Industrial and Art Exhibition of 1896-7, the only one we have from Villiers’ stall.
2. It is an example of what is believed to be the first etching on glass to be done in Warrnambool.
The identity of ‘M.R.’ is not known.

Physical description

This is an etched glass tumbler from the Warrnambool Industrial and Art Exhibition of 1896-7. It is plain glass with a solid base.

Inscriptions & markings

A three branched frond of fern is on one side of the glass and a two-branched frond of leaves on the other.
‘Warrnambool Exhibition, M.R. 1897’