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George Bass – Discovery of the Bass Strait – Commemorative Bronze Medal – 1968

Short Description

George Bass, Surgeon and Explorer carried out two voyages to confirm the Bass Strait and the separation of Tasmania (then Van Diemen’s Land) from mainland Australia – known affectionately in Tasmania as “The Other Island”.

First, in 1797 he set off in an open whaleboat with a crew of six. They sailed to Cape Howe at the farthest point of South-east Australia and, from there sailed west along the Gippsland coast to Western Point, at the entrance to Port Phillip. Observations of the rapid tide and long south-western swell supported his view that a large Strait lay in front of him.

In 1798 he set out again, with Matthew Flinders in the sloop Norfolk and circumnavigated Van Diemen’s Land. They visited the Derwent River which had previously been named by Captain John Hayes. On return to Sydney, Flinders promoted the naming of the Strait after Bass … the then Governor, John Hunter agreed.

Bass's later life was adventurous and possibly ... likely ... tragic, making the date of his death noted on the medal questionable.

The medal was struck in 1968. It was produced by K.G. Luke & Sons, Melbourne for the Numismatic Association of Victoria. 160 examples were produced in this bronze form and a similar number in silver. 50mm in diameter, 48gms weight, with a high relief bust of Bass facing right, carrying his spyglass. On the reverse a delightful image of the whaleboat, the sloop Norfolk and the chart and route of the vessels, appropriately dated.

Unusual medal to celebrate the achievements of George Bass

Price: $180.00

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