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George Reid paperweight

an unknown artist

painted cast iron

This souvenir of George Reid came onto the market shortly before he departed Australia to become the country’s first High Commissioner in London. Sydney’s Evening News carried an advertisement for the object on 12 January 1910:

‘Sir George Reid has been immortalised by being cast in a statuette of Lithgow iron. The statuette is 5 inches high. Farmer and Company, Ltd, are selling the statuettes, which can be used as a paperweight or ornament.’

William Morris Hughes and George Reid were both popular targets for caricaturists - Hughes for his wizened frame and large ears, and Reid for what Alfred Deakin called 'an immense, unwieldy jelly-like stomach' and 'little legs apparently bowed beneath its weight'.

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Purchased 2006

Accession number: 2006.81

Currently on display: Gallery One (Marilyn Darling Gallery)

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