Sunday, March 8, 2020

Natal Photographers: Dickinson

Dickinson Brothers advertisement from Natal Almanac 1874

Born in Ilfracombe, Devon, Charles Hammond Dickinson arrived in Natal about 1852 and was taking photographs, probably as an amateur, in Durban in 1858, often of local celebrities. A photograph of early settler Henry Francis Fynn taken by Dickinson in Durban in 1858 is held at Pietermaritzburg Archives Repository.

Marianne Churchill (Mrs Hugh Gillespie) writing in 1857 remarks that she had 'a very truthful likeness' taken by Mr Charles Dickinson, but that 'perhaps it makes me appear a little too large in every way'.

This photographer was a water-colourist, too. His painting of a Royal Durban Ranger done ca 1856 is preserved in the Campbell Collections, Durban. Dickinson was himself a member of the Rangers. Several other paintings by Dickinson are in the Natal Society Library's collection (now the Msunduzi Municipal Library).

Dickinson was also an ironmonger in partnership with his brother, Robert William Dickinson.

Henry Francis Fynn photographed by Charles Hammond Dickinson

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