Julia Katharine (Wickes) Steele was born in Bengal, India, where her father, Thomas Wickes, was a railway engineer for the Bengal Public Works Department.  After he retired in 1895, the family relocated to Greece, where he gathered information for a report on the progress of drainage works at Lake Copais. Julia continued to live in Greece for a time with her husband, Daniel Steele, after their marriage.

Many of the artefacts that Julia Katharine Steele eventually sold to Percy Ure came from the Lake Copais region. In a 1926 letter to Percy Ure, she recalled that “We lived in Greece at a time when people dug before Xmas + Easter + came round with their finds to get something to spend for their feasts + at a restaurant in Thebes, antiquities were sold practically by the oke [a unit of measurement used in early 20thcentury Greece, equivalent to 1.2 kilograms]…”


1 Attic black-figure skyphos depicting a wedding ceremony; the bride and groom are shown aboard a horse-drawn chariot with numerous male and female onlookers; below the handles are birds in flight. Believed to be from Boeotia, Greece. 525 – 500 BC. Purchased from JK Steele, 1926 [26.12.10].


Julia Katharine Steele’s letter to Percy Ure discussing the sale of antiquities in Greece [Ure Museum Archive Drawer E/4/52].

Move forward to Anne Mary Wickes.

Go back to Norah Christina Jolliffe.