William Dickes was born on May 7th, 1815 in Beechencliff, near Bath.
He was taken to London at an early age and later became apprenticed to Robert
Branston, a pupil of Thomas Bewick. He was a student in the Royal Academy
Schools, where his drawings gained him silver medals.
In the early 1840s Dickes married Miss Bloomfield and in 1843, their first son
William Frederick was born. The marriage eventually produced a total of six sons
and three daughters.
Robert Cavell commissioned Dickes to superintend the wood engravings for the
Abbotsford Edition of Scott's Waverly Novels and in 1846 Dickes opened an office
at Salisbury Square, Fleet Street, London. Three years later, he moved
within London to Crescent Place, Bridge Street, Blackfriars.
Very little work can be found from Dickes early addresses. It was not
until 1851 when he again relocated with London, to 5 Old Fish Street, that
business appears to have taken off. He exhibited at the major exhibitions
in London, Paris and Dublin, and was awarded prize medals at the Paris
Exhibition in 1855 and the London International Exhibition in 1862.
William Dickes acquired a license to the Baxter process but also produced colour
prints by his own Chromograph process and by Chromolithography. He
produced a lot of work for the Society for Promotion of Christian Knowledge and
the Religious Tract Society.
Later, William Dickes took his two elder sons into partnership and acquired
premises at 109 Farringdon Road. When Dickes retired to Brixton in 1878,
the business practically ceased. He died on February 29th, 1892 aged 76.
More about William Dickes.
For more about William Dickes and his prints check out the following monthly features:
February 2017 - Print of the Month - Lady-Bug or Lady-Cow
May 2016 - Print of the Month - Crested Grebe Reward Card
August 2015 - Print of the Month - Ellen Mason
January 2015 - Article - Great Masters Paintings given the Baxter treatment
November 2014 - Print of the Month - The Gorilla Reward Card
April 2014 - Print of the Month - The Sailor's Return
June 2013 - Print of the Month - Whistling through the Wood