PHILLIPPS, THOMAS, SIR. Letter concerning some forgeries by Constantine Simonides, ca. 1859
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Sir Thomas Phillipps: Letter Concerning Some Forgeries by Constantine Simonides, ca. 1859


Main Entry
Phillipps, Thomas, Sir, 1792-1872.

Letter concerning some forgeries by Constantine Simonides [autograph draft], ca. 1859.

Physical Description
1 item (8 p.) ; 11 x 18 cm.

Historical/Biographical Note
English antiquary and collector. He began collecting while at Rugby School and at Oxford. On inheriting his father’s estate at Middle Hill in Worcestershire he embarked on a career of collecting manuscripts and books. His collections eventually contained over 60,000 manuscripts and included many in Greek, Latin and Eastern languages as well as English and Continental manuscripts. The Greek-born Constantine Simonides came to London in the 1853 with both genuine manuscripts and a number of forgeries, including many of classical authors. Phillipps purchased most of the material Simonides offered.

Scope and Contents Note
In this apparently incomplete autograph draft of a letter to an unknown correspondent, Phillipps refers to a pamphlet, Biographical Memoir of Constantine Simonides, written under the name of Charles Stuart but probably by Simonides himself. Phillipps claims that he deliberately bought some of Simonides’s forgeries in order to prove by contrast that the manuscripts of Homer and Hesiod he purchased from him were genuine. He denies the pamphlet’s implication that he believed most of the forgeries to be genuine.

General Note
Title devised by cataloguer.

General Note
Leaves opened and laid in between transparent sheets and inlaid into a folio mat; mat laid into modern folding cloth box lettered in gilt on spine: Phillipps Private Papers/ Miscellaneous Autographs of Sir Thomas Phillipps/Letter to [sic] Simonides.

Immediate Source of Acquisition
Purchase; Sotheby’s auction no. 3243, Lot 0058, London; 2003/12/02.

Formerly owned by Martin Schoyer, Spikkestad, Norway, who purchased it from the dealer H. P. Kraus of New York City. Kraus purchased it from Sotheby’s at a London sale of 1972 4 July (Lot 1733). Previously owned by W. H. Robinson Ltd. of London. It was sold at one of the numerous sales of Phillipps manuscripts conducted by Sotheby’s starting in 1886.

Phillipps, Thomas, Sir, 1792-1872. Correspondence.
Simonides, Konstantinos, 1820-ca. 1867.
Schoyer, Martin, former owner.

Forgery of manuscripts.

Occupation (as reflected in collection)
Book collectors. England. 19th century.
Forgers. Greece. 19th century.

Grolier Club, 47 East 60th Street, New York, N.Y. 10022-1098.

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