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"Saide, R.Y.S." Charles Gibson Millar (Image plate from Vanity Fair)
, 1894

by Sir Leslie Ward

chromolithograph (sheet: 38.0 cm x 25.0 cm)

Charles Gibson Millar (1839–1900), entrepreneur, was engaged in various industrial and agricultural ventures in Australia in the nineteenth century. With his brother, he owned the Great Southern Railway Company, and according to the issue of Vanity Fair in which this portrait appeared was thus responsible for ‘many of the chief railways and public works of the Australian mainland’. ‘He owns railways, tramways, gold mines, sheep runs, timber forests, vineyards and other properties’, the article stated. Millar was among the investors who founded Gold Estates Australia Ltd following the discovery of gold in Western Australia, and around the same time he established Karri and Jarrah Forests Ltd, a company with vast holdings in the south of the state. A member of the Royal Yacht Squadron, Millar skippered his yacht Saide on many adventures, making him someone who ‘knows most seas, [and] is as much at home among the cannibals of the Southern Pacific as he is as the chief guest at a big dinner’. Millar died in the Canary Islands in February 1900 and was buried in the Melbourne General Cemetery, leaving an estate valued at £99,000.

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Purchased 2015
Accession number: 2015.9