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The National Portrait Gallery acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of Country throughout Australia and recognises the continuing connection to lands, waters and communities. We pay our respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and to Elders both past and present.

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Sarah and Ann Jacob

c. 1866
Townsend Duryea

carte de visite photograph (sheet: 10.1 cm x 6.2 cm, image: 9.0 cm x 6.0 cm)

Sarah Jacob (1851–1939) and Anne (Annie) Jacob (1853–1913) were two of the seven children of John Jacob (1816–1910), one of the Jacob brothers after whom Jacob’s Creek in South Australia – and Jacob’s Creek Wines – are named. Born in Hampshire, John arrived in South Australia via Launceston in 1838 and the following year, having travelled to New South Wales to purchase cattle, joined his older brother William on his station in the Barossa Valley. William (1814–1902) had arrived in South Australia with the first influx of settlers in 1836 as an assistant surveyor to Colonel William Light. He later took up land at Moorooroo, where he began cultivating vines along with other crops. John and another Jacob sibling, Anne, initially worked with William at Moorooroo before establishing their own property, Woodlands, near Penwortham. John married Mary Cowles in 1848; Sarah, their first child, was born at Woodlands in April 1851; and Annie, their third, in December 1853. During his fourteen years at Woodlands John Jacob was often seeking new pastoral opportunities, leading him to establish a station at Paralana, near Arakoola. He lost 7,000 head of cattle at Parlana due to drought in the mid-1860s, after which he was forced to find alternative employment. Returning to the Barossa, he worked as land agent and in 1868 was appointed Clerk of the Court in Mount Gambier. His family joined him there two years later. Mary conducted a school there with the help of her daughters, and the family remained in Mount Gambier until 1888, when John retired to North Adelaide. William Jacob’s original cottage is still standing in the grounds of the Jacob’s Creek winery.

Townsend Duryea was born in Long Island, New York in 1823. He trained as a mining engineer, but took up photography during the late 1840s, such that when he and Archibald McDonald opened their ‘MAMMOTH SKYLIGHT ROOMS’ in Bourke Street Melbourne in 1853 they confidently advertised their ‘experience of twelve years’ and their ability to ‘secure the approbation of the most fastidious’. They later ran a studio in Hobart but by the end of 1855 Duryea was working with his brother Sanford in Adelaide and ‘daily making a very superior class of Portraits … Daguerreotype, Halotype, Stereoscopic or Solid Pictures, Crayon Pictures and all the new processes’. In 1857, having worked in regional South Australia, he went into business with William Millington Nixon but was trading with Sanford again as ‘Duryea Brothers’ as of late 1859. In March 1864, by which stage he was working independently at 66 King William Street, Duryea announced ‘the great improvement he has made in Card Portraits’, which he claimed were ‘far superior to any heretofore offered the public of this colony’. His studio and collection of 50,000 negatives were destroyed by fire in 1875; thereafter Duryea took up land in Balranald. He died in a buggy accident there in December 1888. Four of his twelve children (from three marriages) became photographers, including Townsend Junior, who carried on the Duryea name in Adelaide.

Purchased 2018

The National Portrait Gallery respects the artistic and intellectual property rights of others. Works of art from the collection are reproduced as per the Australian Copyright Act 1968 (Cth). The use of images of works from the collection may be restricted under the Act. Requests for a reproduction of a work of art can be made through a Reproduction request. For further information please contact NPG Copyright.

Artist and subject

Townsend Duryea (age 43 in 1866)

Sarah Jacob (age 15 in 1866)

Anne Jacob (age 13 in 1866)

Related portraits

1. Master Molteno, c. 1866. All Townsend Duryea.
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The National Portrait Gallery acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of Country throughout Australia and recognises the continuing connection to lands, waters and communities. We pay our respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and to Elders past and present. We respectfully advise that this site includes works by, images of, names of, voices of and references to deceased people.

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The National Portrait Gallery respects the artistic and intellectual property rights of others. The use of images of works of art reproduced on this website and all other content may be restricted under the Australian Copyright Act 1968 (Cth). Requests for a reproduction of a work of art or other content can be made through a Reproduction request. For further information please contact NPG Copyright.

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