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Sidney Kidman and Arthur Triggs
, c. 1914

by Falk Studios

gelatin silver photograph (frame: 102 cm x 81.5 cm, mount: 86.3 cm x 65.8 cm, image: 56 cm x 42.6 cm)

Sir Sidney Kidman, pastoralist (1857–1935), was Australia’s ‘cattle king’. Kidman ran away from his Adelaide home as a boy and worked as a cattleman, rouseabout and stockman and bullocky before establishing a butcher’s shop in Cobar in the 1870s. This venture was successful enough for him to set up as a large squatter. In 1886 he bought his first station, in the Northern Territory; over the following twelve years he built up two giant chains of properties stretching across Queensland, New South Wales, South Australia and the Northern Territory. By the First World War he held land almost equal in area to that of Victoria. Arthur Triggs (1868–1936), pastoralist and collector, is sometimes referred to as the ‘Kidman of the wool industry’. Triggs came to Australia aged 19 and worked as an accountant in Yass before buying his first 8 000 wethers. From 1897 on he bought and leased properties studded along lines from Bourke to Kiandra, establishing a pattern of running between 250 000 and 500 000 sheep and some cattle at any one time. Triggs travelled often to London, where he indulged his passion for old books, manuscripts, coins and pictures, while his second wife, Mary, bought up specimens of antique lace. It became a truism that when Triggs prospered, so did Yass. After he died, a distinctive gateway, funded by public subscription, was erected in his honour in the town’s Victoria Park.

Collection: National Portrait Gallery, Canberra
Purchased with funds provided by The Ian Potter Foundation 2007
Accession number: 2007.47