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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.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander viewers are warned that this website contains images of deceased persons.

"Fairie" A W Cox (Image plate from Vanity Fair), 1910

Sir Leslie Ward

chromolithograph on paper (sheet: 37.0 cm x 23.0 cm)

Alfred William Cox (1857–1919), racehorse owner and breeder, first came to Australia in the 1870s and tried his hand at farming, acquiring an interest in a property near Hay. In 1884 he acquired a share in a mine at Broken Hill by winning a card game. His opponent on this occasion was a cattle station manager and one of a syndicate of seven locals who had taken out a mining lease in the area a year previously, but who had yet to reap the anticipated rewards from the venture. In August 1884, a government geologist confirmed that the claim was rich with silver ore, ensuring that Cox and his fellow shareholders – now branded the Broken Hill Proprietary Company Ltd – would soon be very wealthy. Returning permanently to England in the late 1880s, Cox directed his attention to horseracing and as ‘Mr Fairie’ became a leading and highly successful owner and breeder of racehorses. On his death, it was reported that his horses had won in excess of £180,000 over 33 seasons, some of his more significant victories including the Ascot Gold Cup (with Bayardo) in 1910 and the Derby (with Lemberg) in 1911.

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Purchased 2015

Accession number: 2015.13

Currently not on display

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Artist and subject

Sir Leslie Ward (age 59 in 1910)

Alfred William Cox (age 53 in 1910)

Subject professions

Sports and recreation

Related information

The Companion

Permanent collection catalogue

Café and shop

On one level The Companion talks about the most famous and frontline Australians, but on another it tells us about ourselves: who we read, who we watch, who we listen to, who we cheer for, who we aspire to be, and who we'll never forget. The Companion is available to buy online and in the Portrait Gallery Store.

"Australia" (Alfred Deakin) (Image plate from Vanity Fair), 1908 Sir Leslie Ward
"Australia" (Alfred Deakin) (Image plate from Vanity Fair), 1908 Sir Leslie Ward
"Australia" (Alfred Deakin) (Image plate from Vanity Fair), 1908 Sir Leslie Ward
"Australia" (Alfred Deakin) (Image plate from Vanity Fair), 1908 Sir Leslie Ward

Vanity fair

Magazine article by Ashleigh Wadman, 2012

Ashleigh Wadman rediscovers the Australian characters represented with a kindly touch by the British portrait artist Leslie Ward for the society magazine Vanity Fair.

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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.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander viewers are warned that this website contains images of deceased persons.