Alexander Dick (c.1791-1843) was born in Scotland into a family with presumed connections to the Scottish silver trade in the form of the firms Dick & Robertson or Dick & McPherson. Dick emigrated to Australia, arriving as a free settler in Sydney in October 1824 and by April 1826 was advertising a business at 104 Pitt Street.
By 1828 he is recorded in a census as employing two silversmiths, two jewellers and a servant girl, and soon at least six other craftsmen as well as a new premises at 6 Williams Place, George Street. It was at George Street where Dick was accused and convicted of receiving twelve silver spoons which had been stolen from the colonial secretary Alexander McLeay, resulting in a prison sentence of seven years, though he was pardoned in February 1833.
Dick, who was described in his pardon as 'Height 5 ft 7 ins [170 cm]-Complexion fair ruddy and a little pock pitted-Hair sandy brown-Eyes grey-Remarks less a front tooth in Upper Jaw, Mole right side of Chin, Nose broad and broken' (J. Wade, Australian Dictionary of Biography, Online Edition), returned to Sydney and resumed business, which had been carried on in his absence by his wife. The business continued to grow with the addition of further craftsmen and moves to ever larger premises.
Much of his existing work is in the form of flatware but he was also responsible for domestic holloware, such as the present tea-service and another, nearly identical example, made for George Allen (1800-1877), New South Wales' first Australian-trained colonial solicitor and now in the collection of the National Gallery of Australia (Accession no. NGA 79.2305.1-3).
The crest of an antelope's head couped is listed for the families of Dorrell, Dumming, Green, Grumstead, Prendergast, Randall, Randolph and Scholten. However a search for these names in A General Muster of New South Wales, 1822, printed by the Society of Australian Genealogists in 1988 only produces the name Pendergast (presumably a mistake for Prendergast) amongst those listed as not being convicts or freed convicts. There is an entry in Burke's Colonial Gentry for Robert Henry Prendergast who was born in 1837 at Ardfinan, co. Tipperary.