[Gold Miner And Aboriginal Man, Port Darwin]
[Gold Miner And Aboriginal Man, Port Darwin]
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[Gold Miner And Aboriginal Man, Port Darwin]

1875. Albumen print photograph, carte-de-visite format, annotated in ink and dated “September 19th 1875” in pencil verso, 10.5 x 6.5cm. Bumped corners.

Annotation reads “Costume of the diggers in P.D. [Port Darwin]. All the gentlemen dress just like they do in Melbourne. Mr Solomen [sic]” and in another hand “September 19th, 1875.”

The gold miner depicted is most likely Adelaide-born Vaiben Louis Solomon (1853–1908) who became the 21st Premier of South Australia (for seven days) and a member of the first Australian Commonwealth Parliament. He was the first and only Jewish premier to date in Australia. Educated at John Lorenzo Young’s Adelaide Educational Institution and Scotch College in Melbourne, Solomon, at the age of 20 in 1873, joined a prospecting party, largely funded by the Adelaide Jewish community, to try his luck in the goldfields of the Northern Territory. He also worked at his brother’s business in the Northern Territory, eventually becoming a prominent figure in the region, and helped establish the first municipal council of Palmerston (now known as Darwin) in 1874. Ref: ADB; Wiki.

This is an extremely rare and important photograph of a gold miner taken at the height of the gold rush at Pine Creek, Northern Territory. To date, there are no other known existing close-ups of gold miners from this area. This image was most likely taken by a travelling photographer using a makeshift “studio” on a veranda, with a simple fabric backdrop and a wooden crate for a plinth.

Item #CL201-15

Price (AUD): $11,000.00  other currencies

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