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Sarah and Ann Jacob
, c.1866

by Townsend Duryea

albumen paper carte de visite (support: 10.1 cm x 6.2 cm, image: 9.0 cm x 6.0 cm)

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Sarah Jacob (1851–1939) and Anne (Annie) Jacob (1853–1913) were two of the seven children of John Jacob (1816–1910), one of the Jacob brothers after whom Jacob’s Creek in South Australia – and Jacob’s Creek Wines – are named. Born in Hampshire, John arrived in South Australia via Launceston in 1838 and the following year, having travelled to New South Wales to purchase cattle, joined his older brother William on his station in the Barossa Valley. William (1814–1902) had arrived in South Australia with the first influx of settlers in 1836 as an assistant surveyor to Colonel William Light. He later took up land at Moorooroo, where he began cultivating vines along with other crops. John and another Jacob sibling, Anne, initially worked with William at Moorooroo before establishing their own property, Woodlands, near Penwortham. John married Mary Cowles in 1848; Sarah, their first child, was born at Woodlands in April 1851; and Annie, their third, in December 1853. During his fourteen years at Woodlands John Jacob was often seeking new pastoral opportunities, leading him to establish a station at Paralana, near Arakoola. He lost 7,000 head of cattle at Parlana due to drought in the mid-1860s, after which he was forced to find alternative employment. Returning to the Barossa, he worked as land agent and in 1868 was appointed Clerk of the Court in Mount Gambier. His family joined him there two years later. Mary conducted a school there with the help of her daughters, and the family remained in Mount Gambier until 1888, when John retired to North Adelaide. William Jacob’s original cottage is still standing in the grounds of the Jacob’s Creek winery.

Townsend Duryea was born in Long Island, New York in 1823. He trained as a mining engineer, but took up photography during the late 1840s, such that when he and Archibald McDonald opened their ‘MAMMOTH SKYLIGHT ROOMS’ in Bourke Street Melbourne in 1853 they confidently advertised their ‘experience of twelve years’ and their ability to ‘secure the approbation of the most fastidious’. They later ran a studio in Hobart but by the end of 1855 Duryea was working with his brother Sanford in Adelaide and ‘daily making a very superior class of Portraits … Daguerreotype, Halotype, Stereoscopic or Solid Pictures, Crayon Pictures and all the new processes’. In 1857, having worked in regional South Australia, he went into business with William Millington Nixon but was trading with Sanford again as ‘Duryea Brothers’ as of late 1859. In March 1864, by which stage he was working independently at 66 King William Street, Duryea announced ‘the great improvement he has made in Card Portraits’, which he claimed were ‘far superior to any heretofore offered the public of this colony’. His studio and collection of 50,000 negatives were destroyed by fire in 1875; thereafter Duryea took up land in Balranald. He died in a buggy accident there in December 1888. Four of his twelve children (from three marriages) became photographers, including Townsend Junior, who carried on the Duryea name in Adelaide.

Collection: National Portrait Gallery, Canberra
Purchased 2018
Accession number: 2018.84