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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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Sir Saul Samuel

c. 1870
Johnstone O'Shannessy & Co

carte de visite photograph (support: 10.2 cm x 6.2 cm)

The Hon Sir Saul Samuel Bart KCMG CB (1820-1900), merchant, politician, company director and landowner, was the first Jewish legislator in New South Wales and the first Jew to become a minister of the Crown. Born in London, he came to the colony as a twelve-year-old in 1832. By age 21, he had 190 000 acres of land on the Macquarie River; but in the 1850s, he left farming to became a company director in the booming Bathurst. He was elected to the first New South Wales Legislative Council in 1854, and went on to represent Wellington, Orange and briefly East Sydney in the Legislative Assembly between 1859 and 1872. A life member of the Legislative Council from 1872 to his retirement in 1880, Samuel served three stints as treasurer and one as postmaster-general. Meanwhile he maintained his business interests, which included coal, gold, copper and silver mining enterprises and the Sydney Exchange Co, of which he was chairman (1876-1880). He was active in Jewish affairs, laying the foundation stone for the Great Synagogue in Elizabeth Street and becoming its president, and was a member of the Royal Society and the New South Wales Academy of Art. From 1880 to 1897 he was the energetic agent-general for New South Wales in London. He was created a baronet in 1898.

Purchased 2014

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

Johnstone O'Shannessy & Co

Hon. Saul Samuel (age 50 in 1870)

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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.

This website comprises and contains copyrighted materials and works. Copyright in all materials and/or works comprising or contained within this website remains with the National Portrait Gallery and other copyright owners as specified.

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.

The National Portrait Gallery is an Australian Government Agency