Giovanni Anastasi (Biographical details)

Giovanni Anastasi (dealer/auction house; collector; Greek; Male; 1780 - 1860)

Also known as

Anastasi, Giovanni; Anastasiou, Giovanni

Biography

Greek merchant settled in Alexandria, Egypt.

His father, originally from Damascus, went to Egypt (about 1797) and established a large business as a purveyor to the French army. The defeat of Napoleon and the exvacuation of French troops ruined this business and he died shortly after becoming bankrupt.

Anastasi reestablished the business as a thriving concern and, 1828-1857, served as the Swedish-Norwegian Consul in Egypt. In addition to his commercial activities, Anastasi carried on a large trade in antiquities, buying objects directly from the inhabitants of Saqqara and Thebes. He sold a large collection to the Dutch government in 1828, another was sold in London to The British Museum in 1839, and a third by auction of 1,129 lots in Paris during 1857.

He died in Alexandria on August 6th, 1860. He bequeathed part of his fortune to Swedish charities and a large sarcophagus to the Stockholm Museum. His name is particularly associated with the large number of important papyri from his collections now distributed between Leiden, London and Paris.

Bibliography

'Who was Who in Egyptology', Dawson & Uphill, Third Revised Edition, Ed. Bierbrier, EES, London, 1995.