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Eumorfopoulos, George Aristides (1863-1939)

Alongside Sir Percival David, George Aristides Eumorfopoulos (1863-1939) was amongst the most important collectors of Chinese Art in the early 20th century. He was the founder of the Oriental Ceramic Society in 1921, and served as president until his death in 1939.

He was particularly interested in Ming dynasty ceramics which he considered underappreciated. He wrote in 1925, "In those days, the last decade of the nineteenth century, 'Oriental' meant Qing porcelain, with just a few pieces of Ming thrown in. The Ming we knew then was a little blue and white and some of the coarser enamelled wares. Our knowledge of the more delicate enamelled Ming wares... is quite recent. It is only within the last few years that specimens have reached the West. So far as my own collection goes it will, I think, be found that the Ming period is adequately represented."

A third of his collection, which is over one thousand five hundred pieces, was bought from F.M. Frank and Co., eighty-seven pieces from John Sparks Ltd., a hundred and thirty-eight pieces from Bluett and Sons and others from Yamanaka & Co. A significant part of his collection is now housed in the British Museum and the Victoria & Albert Museum. Eight hundred pieces were also donated to the Benaki Museum in Athens, creating the first major Greek collection of Chinese art.

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