- Also known as
primary name: Austin, William
- individual; printmaker; dealer/auction house; publisher/printer; British; Male
- Life dates
- early 1760s (with Gerard Van der Gucht) Golden Head, Great George Street, Hanover Square, London
1764-7 former Brawn's Head Tavern, Bond Street, London
after 1768 next Astley's Amphitheatre, Surrey side of Westminster Bridge
- Drawing master, engraver, caricaturist; sold new and old prints, drawings and drawing materials, and framed and repaired pictures; apprenticed to George Bickham, then worked for Thomas Major; recorded in list of eminent painters in Universal Magazine in 1748; in early 1760s in business with Gerard Van der Gucht in Hanover Square; 1764-7 he was based at the former Brawn's Head Tavern in Bond Street. Seems then to have worked primarily as a drawing master. Later in his career ran other print shops, including the Patriotick Print Rooms in St James's Street, where in 1785 he was selling terracotta busts of Whig leaders as well as prints; Two trade cards in Heal Collection. Heal,59.3 advertises "Austin, Etcher & Engraver, At the Golden Head, In great George Street, Hanover Square. Sells all sorts of Italian, Dutch, French and Flemish Prints & Drawings, both of the Antient [sic] & Modern Masters; with the greatest variety of Japanning & Water Colours; Brushes. Black, Red & White Chalk, India Ink, Portcrayons, Black Lead Pencils, Drawing Paper &c. Coats of Arms, Visiting Tickets & Shop-Bills Design'd, Engraved & Printed, Pictures carefully Clean'd, Lin'd & Mended. Most Money for Prints." Heal's annotations on mount: "Bryan's 'Dictionary' says William Austin b.1721-d.1820 - he was a pupil of George Bickman - best known for his engravings of landscapes. Compare Trade Card in Franks Collection:- Austin & Vander Gucht, printsellers, at the Golden Head in great George Street, & another Trade Card in A.H. collection:- G. Vander Gucht, printseller & stationer, removed from the Golden Head in great George Street to Vandyke's Head in Brook St., Grosvenor Square. See also back of this mount for photograph of Mr. Austin's prospectus dated 1756 which gives Mr. William Austin's address at the Golden Head in Queen Square." Heal,59.4 advertises "Proposals for Engraving By Subscription, From an Original Picture Painted by Luccarelle and Engraved by Willm. Austin. This Picture is 3 feet 10 Inch by 2 feet 6 1/2 Inch To be Engraved 22 1/2 inches by 16 1/2 inches. The Price of the Print will be 3 Shillings to Subscribers. One half to be paid at ye Time of Subscription, the other on the delivery of the Print which will be on Feb.19th 1756...Subs. are taken in by W. Austin Engraver at ye Golden Head the last House on the left hand side of Queen Square, Holbourn [sic], Mr. Brindley Bond Street, Mr. Darres Piccadilly, Mr. Vivares Newport Street, Mr. Major Chandois Street at Crachley's Figure Shop Long Acre, Mr. Okey's St. Dunstan's Church, Mr. Bowles's Pauls Church Yard, & Mr. King in ye Poultry. Received of ____ The Sum of____ being the first Payment for Engraved Print of Luccarelle which I Promise to Deliver According to the Proposals." Trade card in Banks Collection (Banks,100.32) advertises "Austin & Vander Gucht, Junr. Printsellers, At the Golden Head... Sell all sorts of Italian, Dutch, French and Flemish Prints & Drawings, both of the Antient [sic] & Modern Masters; with the greatest variety of Japanning & Water Colours; Brushes. Black, Red & White Chalk, India Ink, Portcrayons, Black Lead Pencils, Drawing Paper &c. Likewise Pictures carefully Clean'd, Lin'd & Mended. Most Money for Prints. N.B. As there are several Ingenious Noblemen & Gentlemen would be desirous of executing their own Designs on Copper, they may be Taught after the best and neatest manner by Wm. Austin, Engraver from Mr. Major, and the best Masters."
- T Clayton, The English Print 1688-1802 (London 1997)
ODNB (by Tim Clayton)
Obituary Gentleman's Magazine May 1820 p.476.