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Sir George Reid, c.1895

Nelson Illingworth

cast plaster, painted

Nelson Illingworth trained in sculpture in England and worked as a modeller at the Royal Doulton potteries for nine years before moving to Australia. In the 1890s he set up the Denbrae Fine Art Pottery at Forest Lodge to make a range of flowerpots, fernpots and statuettes. He also made many heads, busts and statuettes, including a bust and a life-or-death mask of Henry Lawson, a fine bust of Cardinal Moran and a life-sized statue of Henry Parkes. Illingworth was one of the sculptors who worked on the striking façade of the Lands Department Building in Bridge Street, Sydney. He was preparing a design for the Henry Lawson memorial monument when he died.

The Sydney Sunday Times reported in August 1895 ‘Mr Nelson Illingworth has executed a medallion portrait of the Premier. Friends of Mr Reid are using it to adorn their homes, and opponents as a target for pistol practice.’

This is the National Portrait Gallery’s only representation of Reid apart from two examples of the cast iron paperweight, acquired in 2001 and 2006.

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Purchased 2016

Accession number: 2016.34

Currently on display: Gallery One (Marilyn Darling Gallery)

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Artist and subject

Nelson Illingworth (age 33 in 1895)

Sir George Houston Reid GCB GCMG KC (age 50 in 1895)

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