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Forty-Two-Pound Nugget of Gold at Melbourne

Source: The Illustrated London News, April 16, 1853, p.294

The lower Illustration at page 296 is introduced by the Artist, Mr. Gilfillan, by observing that it has long been the practice in China, parts of Europe, and, doubtless, other countries with which we are less acquainted, to present as an entremet, or dessert, certain dishes which the guests are interdicted from touching; inasmuch as they may be merely mock salmon, or artificial fruit, intended rather to gratify the eye than the palate, and merely serve as an ornament to the board.

The Illustration shows this system of table decking to have reached Australia; for the Nugget of Gold which our Artist has pictured formed one of the dishes at a déjeuner given at Melbourne, in December last, to Mr. Hargreaves, by his friends and admirers, in recognition of his discovery of gold in South Australia, on which occasion he was created a magistrate. We find the celebration thus noticed in a letter from Bendigo Creek, dated Dec. 7th, 1852 :—
Mr. Hargreaves has been recently feted and flattered, as a lion of the first magnitude, in Melbourne, in consequence of having expressed the opinion that the unworked gold-fields of Victoria are of very great extent. The most experienced diggers agree in the same opinion, and also in the cautious qualification that accompanied it, namely—that the remaining deposits may by no means be so rich as those already discovered, and now nearly exhausted.

The above Nugget was found in White Horsegully, Bendigo, and weighs forty-two pounds. It was subsequently exhibited in the office of Jamieson and Moore, the principal gold-brokers in Melbourne, where our Artist sketched the Nugget and a group of spectators, and the general business complexion of the office. In a few days the Nugget was shipped on board the Great Britain, and formed part of the £600,000 freight recently arrived at Liverpool.