24-10-1866: Guide to the Intercolonial Exhibition of 1866, Melbourne, Victoria.

The Ferguson & Urie stained glass company displayed examples of their workmanship at many exhibitions over a forty year period from 1853.

The 1866 exhibition stands out as the most unique in the company history as being the one that gave them their greatest exposure on the eastern side of Australia and even into New Zealand.

An entire “Medieval Court” was constructed at the 1866 exhibition which included a detailed reconstruction of a church chancel decorated by Ferguson & Urie which was complete with stained glass windows. The idea for the medieval court was based on Augustus Welby Pugin’s Medieval Court, which was first shown at London’s International Exhibition of 1851 and then at the Crystal Palace, Sydenham, between 1852 and 1866. This medieval court reconstruction at the 1866 Melbourne exhibition was the first of its kind seen in the Australian colony and drew and extraordinary crowd.

The most remarkable of the historical artifacts in the medieval court were Ferguson & Urie’s set of five single light stained glass windows depicting the Nativity, Passion, Crucifixion, Resurrection and Ascension. After the exhibition these windows were installed in the chancel of Christ Church at Casterton in Western Victoria and are still in place to this day, although there is a small mysterious anomaly as the the order the windows were installed!



“ON entering this hall from Latrobe-street, visitors who put themselves under our guidance will find, by turning immediately to the left before arriving at the fur trophy, which faces them, that they have come upon perhaps the last thing one might expect to encounter in an exhibition of the products and manufactures of a new colony – to wit, a Mediaeval Court, the whole of the decorations and contents of which are the work of two Melbourne houses, the one that of Mr. John Young, contractor, and the other that of Messrs. Ferguson, Urie and Lyon, glass-stainers, &c. The excellence of this court consists not more in the beauty of the various articles it contains than in the admirable tone of all the decorations, giving to the place that “dim, religious light” befitting the character it assumes. The stained-glass windows let into the partitions surrounding the court are mainly instrumental in producing this effect. The court is filled with statuary, fonts, and elaborately-ornamented wrought-iron articles, suitable for mediaeval church purposes. One of the statues represents the Madonna and Child; others personify St. John, St. Thomas, and St. Theresa. Attached to the walls near the roof are several of the quaintly-carved figures which catch the eye in old churches. These are intended for St. Patrick’s Cathedral, now in course of erection on the Eastern Hill. To complete the ingenious effect of this court as a complete work of art, Messrs. Ferguson, Urie and Lyon have constructed at the side opposite the entrance a recess representing an early English chancel, the decorations of which are most complete. The furniture of the chancel consists of an altar table, an illuminated oil painting of the last Supper, and illuminated tablets of the commandments, creed, and Lord’s Prayer. The light admitted to the chancel pours through five stained-glass windows, representing respectively the nativity, Passion, Crucifixion, Resurrection, and Ascension. These are designed for the Episcopalian Church at Casterton. The walls are also artistically decorated, and altogether this chancel, with the court leading to it, make up one of the most remarkable objects of the Exhibition”.

Related posts: 10-06-1867 > 25-10-1865 > 03-11-1866 > 20-12-1866

02-09-1861: Tarrengower Victoria. John Lamb Lyon stained glass.

The Argus, Melbourne, Monday 2nd September 1861, page 5.

“Amongst the contributions which Tarrengower will forward to the forthcoming Exhibition will be a stained-glass window, in the Early English style, the work of Mr. John Lyon, of Maldon”.

There is obviously insufficient detail in the article to distinguish the description of this window from many other windows described as of “Early English style” and there have been no other articles of the time to associate it by dates.  The only other extant window from the same period of late 1861,  is the Ferguson & Urie two light chancel window of St Margaret’s Church in Eltham which is the earliest known extant window by the firm with evidence of communication with Ferguson & Urie and the church in November 1861.

Lyon is not known to have joined Ferguson & Urie until late 1861, making this ‘Tarrengower’ window his own work, but collaboration is possible. If he had created the window completely of his own accord it could only have been done on a very small scale, assuming he did not have any commercial sized kiln for firing the glass in the tiny township of Maldon. Interestingly the exhibition list of awards published in December 1861, mentions Lyon’s entry as a ‘design for stained glass’ and not actually a window!

The English stained glass artist David Relph Drape is known to have been in Maldon at the exact same time as Lyon and they are both likely to have collaborated in the design and manufacture of the two light west window of the Holy Trinity church in Maldon in 1863. Drape was also the architect of Holy Trinity and commenced work with Ferguson & Urie as a stained glass artist on the 8th November 1863.

Related posts:

John Lamb Lyon, Stained Glass Artist, (1835-1916)

External links:

Biography: John Lamb Lyon (1835–1916)

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30-11-1875: Closure of Melbourne Colonial Exhibition.

The Argus, Melbourne, Tuesday 30th November 1875, page 5.

On the closure of the Melbourne Colonial Exhibition, some of Ferguson & Urie’s stained glass were chosen by the committee to be included as exhibition examples to be shipped to New York on the “Skerryvore” on Saturday the 4th of December 1875 for participation in the Philadelphia exhibition.

02-09-1875: The 1875 Victorian Exhibition Catalogue.

Ferguson & Urie exhibited their stained glass work at the Victorian Intercolonial Exhibition which was opened on the 2nd of September 1875. The official catalogue of exhibits, page 47 Group 4, listed Ferguson & Urie as well as former business partner John Lamb Lyon as Lyon, Cottier & Co of Sydney, exhibiting along side each other. The articles make mention of “Mr Clarke’s mansion, Sunbury” known as Rupertswood, now operating as boutique accommodation and events venue. The Rupertswood windows, span two floors and contain scenes of hunting and countryside that were the work of the firms’ senior stained glass artist David Relph Drape, some of which have Drapes name hidden within the scenery.

The Victorian Intercolonial Exhibition Catalogue 1875, page 47.

– LYON, COTTIER & CO., Sydney, New South Wales. Stained Glass Stairwell Window. Subject – “Captain Cook”.
FERGUSON & URIE, 10 Collins-street East, Melbourne. Staircase on wall Window, “The Seasons”, Staircase on wall Window, “Rob Roy”, Portion of Staircase Window for Mr. Clarke’s mansion, Sunbury, Embossed Plate Glass for do, “Chillingworth Wild Cattle”, “The Maries at the Tomb”, “The Charge to Peter”, Samples of margins.

Notes on the above tabloid article:

1. “The Seasons” – unknown (possibly Mandeville Hall, Toorak).
2. “Rob Roy” – unknown.
3. Clarke’s Mansion Sunbury – This is ‘Rupertswood’ – All stained glass is extant.
4. “The Maries at the Tomb” – unknown.
5. “The Charge to Peter” – unknown.

The Argus, Melbourne, Friday 3rd September 1875, page 3s

“The exhibits of Messrs. Ferguson and Urie, Nos. 120-121, afford gratifying proof of the demand which exists amongst us for works of decNotes:orative art, and the designs for the works which have been executed by them give us some idea of the extent to which the local manufacturers of painted glass have drawn upon in the decoration of our churches and large dwellings. The designs of almost all these, as well as that in the specimens exhibited, are excellent – lacking, if anything, in boldness – the colours in almost all instances being rich, and at the same time harmonious. Messrs. Ferguson and Urie have, we suppose, to consult the taste of their patrons, which is, we do them the justice to believe, the reason why a picture on glass of Chillingham Cattle has been prepared. Nothing more contrary to the true principals which should have been kept steadily in view in this development of art could possibly be conceived. As an illustration of glass painting of quite a different, but at the same time more boldly artistic school, attention must be called to a staircase window, designed as a memorial of Cook, the navigator, the seated figure being designed by a thorough artist, and the patterns containing illustrations of the typical animals and birds of Australia being especially worthy of notice. The colour is, however, wanting in richness. This exhibit is from the workshops of Messrs. Lyon, Cottier, and Co., Sydney.”

Excerpt from Intercolonial exhibition 1875 – Official Catalogue Advertiser:

“FERGUSON & URIE, GLASS STAINERS, No. 10 Collins Street East. Memorial, Heraldic, and Grisaille; Stained Glass Windows for Churches and other Buildings, executed at the Stained Glass Works, Curzon-street, North Melbourne. Illuminated Commandments and Wall Decorations; Embossed Plate and Sheet Glass, any pattern; Lead Lights in Cathedral, Crown, Sheet and Ornamental Glass. Designs submitted with Estimate of Cost. Awarded two Medals, Melbourne Exhibition, 1867. Stained Glass Works, Curzon-street, North Melbourne”.

29-10-1875: Intercolonial Exhibition, Melbourne, 1875.

The Argus, Melbourne, Friday 29 October 1875, page 7.


“[…] GROUP IV – GLASS AND MANUFACTURES OF GLASS. Special Awards By Commissioners. Ferguson and Urie, 10 Collins-street east – Wall windows and staircase windows, silver medal. Lyon, Cottier, and Co, Sydney – Stained glass stair case window, medal.[…]”

An interesting article that shows former employee and partner, John Lamb Lyon, competing alongside Ferguson & Urie at the exhibition.

10-01-1873: Melbourne Exhibition of 1873.

The Argus, Melbourne, Friday 10 January 1873, page 6.

At the Melbourne Exhibition of 1873, Ferguson, Urie & Lyon were awarded a Silver Medal for exhibit 229 under section 3 – ‘Miscellaneous’, for Stained Glass and drawings.

The Victorian Exhibition was held in Melbourne from the 6th November 1872 to 8th January 1873 and exhibited almost entirely Victorian products that were intended to be shown at the London International Exhibition of 1873 (14 Apr 1873 – 31 October 1873).

07-10-1870: The 1870 Sydney Intercolonial Exhibition.

The Ferguson & Urie Stained Glass company actively participated in exhibitions from as early as 1854. There was minor mention of the company exhibiting stained glass samples at the Sydney Intercolonial Exhibition in 1870.

The Sydney Morning Herald, NSW, Friday 7th October 1870, page 8.


 THE summary of news by the Avoca contained an account of the ceremony observed on the occasion of the opening of the Metropolitan Intercolonial Exhibition on the 3oth August. This exhibition was called into existence under the auspices of the Agricultural Society of New South Wales, and it has proved a splendid success. It has been to this colony what the Great Exhibition of 1851 was to England – what the Exposition Universelle of Paris was to France in 1862. It has attracted large numbers of people from all parts of New South Wales, and also from other colonies of Australasia…”


 “…1471 Samples stained glass, Ferguson, Urie, and Lyon, Melbourne…”

Illustrated Australian News for Home Readers, Melbourne, Monday 10th October 1870, page 174.

“THE INTERCOLONIAL EXHIBITION. No. 1.Last month we announced the opening of the Intercolonial Exhibition at Sydney; we are now able to give full particulars with regard to the character of he various exhibits, especially those sent from Victoria…”

“… Some of the handsomest features of this portion of the building are the stained glass windows of Ferguson, Urie and Lyon, of Curzon-street, of which there are seven, representing Christ’s Charge to Peter, Salvator Mundi, Charge to Peter, Immaculate Conception, and some others filled with heraldic designs…”

As at June 2012, no match or further detail has been found regarding the windows described.

External links:

Sydney Intercolonial Exhibition 1870

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22-09-1870: The 1870 Sydney Intercolonial Exhibition.

At the 1870 Sydney Intercolonial Exhibition, Ferguson & Urie were recommended for a bronze medal for their samples of stained glass, but the judges inquire as to some authenticity that the work was actually crafted in the Victorian Colony.

The Argus, Melbourne, Thursday 22 September 1870, page 6.

 “… Messrs. Ferguson, Urie, and Lyon have been recommended for a bronze medal for their very beautiful samples of stained glass. But there are two Sydney competitors in the same line, and the judges have intimated a wish that some sort of certificate had been forwarded guaranteeing that the alleged Victorian work was really done in Victoria. They have instituted a very close inquiry to ascertain whether the Sydney exhibits were really produced in New South Wales, but they have no means of prosecuting similar inquiries about the exhibits from other colonies…”

Evening News, Sydney, NSW, Tuesday 27th September 1870, page 4.

Exhibit “1471 Samples stained glass, Ferguson, Urie, and Lyon, Melbourne.”


External links:

Example of a Bronze medal at the 1875 exhibition presented to Lyon & Cottier.

03-09-1870: Sydney Intercolonial Exhibition 1870.

Australian Town and Country Journal, NSW, Saturday 3 September 1870, page 11.


 “..On the other side, near the principal front, are several painted windows, from Ferguson, Urie, and Lyon, of Melbourne. The first is a coat of arms, the crest being boars’ heads, with the motto “Dulcius ex asperis;” on the other side of the same window is the Royal Arms of England, the lion and the unicorn in a somewhat novel attitude. Between these are small lights representing Christ giving to St. Peter charge of his sheep, and over this the virgin crowned with stars. Further on is a larger light representing the charge to Peter; in this painting the sheep are represented with much art in the foreground and all the eleven apostles appear around and behind the Saviour.”

Note: “Dulcius ex asperis” is the Latin motto for the Scottish Clan Fergusson meaning: “Sweeter after difficulties”. There is also a depiction of the coat of arms with the same motto in an element of the Glenferrie window at the Melbourne Museum.
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