22 - 23 March 2005
GENNADIUS, Joannes (1844-1932) -- Catalogue of the Extensive and Valuable Library of Manuscripts & Printed Books of His Excellency Monsieur John Gennadius...late Greek Minister at the Court of St. James's, &c. London: Sotheby, Wilkinson & Hodge, 28 March 1895.
Large 8o (243 x 155 mm). Later cloth, t.e.g., bound by F. Bakala of Vienna for E.P. Goldschmidt. Provenance: E.P. Goldschmidt (binding and shelfmark).
The above catalogue bears witness to the problems faced at one time by Gennadius, the most prominent Greek book collector of the modern age. Serving the Greek Government in London since 1875, which enabled him to indulge his passion for books, he was dismissed the service in 1892 for reasons that remain unclear, but was reappointed in 1910. He was thus forced to sell some of the most valuable items of his already remarkable collection, drawing attention to them in a ten-page preface to the catalogue. Although he bought back many items when a prosperous marriage allowed him to do so, he was never able to replace many others. In 1922 he presented his collection to the American School of Classical Studies in Athens on condition that they continued it. It was housed in a special building, the Gennadeion, and now comprises approximately 80,000 volumes. F.R. Walton, "Portrait of a Bibliophile" (The Book Collector, Vol. 13); Blogie III, col. 50.
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