Spartali & Co (Biographical details)

Spartali & Co (merchant/tradesman; Greek; Male; 1877 - 1884; active in)

Also known as

Spartali & Co; Alex Sefi


A Greek import/export company active in London, Liverpool, Manchester and Marseille in the latter half of the nineteenth century. It was headquartered in the port city of Smyrna (modern Izmir) where it became one of the leading companies involved in the rug trade by 1900. Among the leading members of the family was Michael Spartali (1888-1914) who served as Greek consul-general to the United Kingdom from 1866 to 1882 and was the father of Marie Spartali Stillman, the Pre-Raphaelite artist and wife of William James Stillman.

The British Museum purchased three consignments of Babylonian cuneiform tablets and assorted other minor Mesopotamian antiquities from this company in March 1879, December 1879 and May 1880, and these were designated the Spartali I, II and III collections respectively. Correspondence to/from Spartali for the years 1877-1881 is filed in the Dept of the Middle East (Correspondence 1868-1881, q.v. Spartali), but the individual writing from this company is one Alex Sefi. This correspondence also makes it clear that the source of at least some of this material was J.M. Shemtob (q.v.) and Michele Marini (q.v.).

Bibliography (accessed 3 December 2009).
'Commercial relations of the United States with foreign countries, Volume 1. Bureau of Foreign and Domestic Commerce, United States' (1903), p. 1145; Stanley Chapman, 'Merchant Enterprise in Britain: From the Industrial Revolution to World War I' (Cambridge 2004), p. 157; 'The Manchester commercial list' (Seyd and Co. 1867), p. 19; Donald Quataert, 'Ottoman Manufacturing in the Age of the Industrial Revolution' (Cambridge 2002), p. 151.