William Dickes

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 within 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 licence 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:

January 2023 - Print of the Month - Chromo New Year Card
February 2022 - Print of the Month - St. Peter and St. John Healing the Sick
February 2021 - Print of the Month - The Idle Servant
September 2020 - Print of the Month - The Faithful Friend
March 2020 - Print of the Month - The Safe Path (reward card)
June 2019 - Print of the Month - Reynard's Escape
October 2018 - Print of the Month - L’Hiver (Winter)
August 2018 - Print of the Month - Paddy in Difficulty
March 2018 - Print of the Month - The Red-Backed Shrike Reward Card
November 2017 - British Sea Anemones and Corals - Plate III
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