Commissioned by the 1956 Melbourne Olympic Committee this medal was designed by Andor Meszaros in 1955. The dies were produced by John Pinches of London and the medals struck by K.G Luke of Melbourne. 12,250 of these were struck in bronze of which 11,305 were formally issued, they are 63 millimetres in diameter and weigh 105 grams. Carlisle reference is c/1956/5.
This medal was the turning point in the career of Andor Meszaros (1900-1972) with these medals spreading his work around the globe as each participating country took their medal back to their home country.
Andor submitted designs for both the reverse and obverse of the commemorative medal. The obverse depicts, in relief, a design of athletes marching in pairs following a single figure bearing a banner with the Olympic device of rings and the motto of the International Olympic Committee Citius, Altius, Fortius. Just to the right of that single figure bearing the flag, along the edge is Meszaros’ signature and 1955. The reverse is a reproduction, in relief, of the Coat-of-Arms of the City of Melbourne surmounted by the five rings and bearing the inscription “Olympic Games Melbourne 1956”. Again the designers signature is depicted to the left of this Coat-of-Arms and to it’s right, the maker K.G Luke Ltd.
These were presented in a clear plastic case to all those involved in the 1956 Melbourne Olympic Games (see table). Each runner in the torch relay was presented with their medal en route as the flame made it’s way from Cairns to Melbourne. Other competitors, officials etc are listed below.
|Guests of Honour||50||41|
|I.F. -President and Secretary||40||26|
|Chefs de Mission||80||56|
|Sub-Committees of Organizing Committee||70||67|
|Miscellaneous (including O.C. Staff and
Semmens, Kelman. 1972. Andor Meszaros Sculptor
Sharples, John P. 1990. Medals as Art: Australia and the Meszaros Tradition
Carlisle, Leslie J. 2008 Australian Historical Medals 1788-1988
The Organizing Committee of the XVI Olympiad. 1958. The Official Report Of The Organizing Committee For The Games Of The XVI Olympiad Melbourne 1956