Historical information

The letters J.W. E. refer to the artist - John Wolfgang Elischer (1891-1966). He was an Austrian sculptor and medallist. He trained at the Academy of Vienna from 1908 to 1911; won the Prix de Rome in 1909; and c1910-11, practised under Rodin in Paris. He arrived in Australia in 1935. During his first year he was an industrial designer for pottery. Later works include the King George V Memorial in Bendigo (1938), a bronze fountain for Sir Russell Grimwade in Toorak and a bust of Archbishop Mannix for Newman College, University of Melbourne.
The medal was awarded to the school children in 1951 to mark the fiftieth anniversary of the Federation of Australia. The design was chosen after a competition, with the valuable cash prize of two hundred guineas.
This is part of a large donation of material relating to the Deakin, Mair and Young families, all with connections to the SUrrey Hills and Mont Albert area.


This is one example of the work of Amor Mint. In 1874 Willliam Joseph Amor was apprenticed to English medallists J.S. and A.B. Wyon. Nine years later he went to Paris, where he remained until 1887. Intending to go to America and work his way home to England, he visited Sydney en route and was persuaded by Robert Hunt, Deputy-Master of the Sydney Mint, to stay and start his own business. Amor established the business in 1888 and married the daughter of the Chief Engineer of the Sydney Mint. In 1917 Amor became a limited company, in which principal employees were given an interest. In 1935 Amor sold his share to A.H. Byatt, retaining a position as Advisory Director of the business. Amor’s company became Sydney’s major medallist and die-sinker for over a century thanks to its ability to meet demand for locally produced, high-quality commemoratives.

Physical description

A round medallion with a loop hole at the top.
Front: A man advancing to the right sowing seeds by hand; at left 1901, at right 1951 in tiny letters near ground right the artist's initials, J.W.E.
Back: At top a star; below which are the words, FIFTY YEARS / COMMONWEALTH / OF AUSTRALIA. Below this are seven ears of wheat representing the States and Northern Territory of Australia.

Inscriptions & markings