GEORGE II of Greece.

Inscribed original portrait photograph.

Athens: studio of George Boucas, 1941 Stock Code: 143263
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Striking profile image of the ill-starred king of Greece, George II, pictured wearing the uniform of a British general, inscribed below the image, "For Mr. Hutchinson, George II R, 23rd-29th April 1941"; the dating is significant as on 23 April 1941 the king and government left mainland Greece for Crete, before going into exile, first in Egypt and then London.

We believe that the recipient is almost certainly Richard Wyatt Hutchinson, curator at the Knossos Research Centre on Crete during the Second World War. While on the island, the king stayed at the Villa Ariadne at Knossos before being evacuated to Egypt. "An invasion of Crete too was imminent and Hutchinson and his mother were forced to leave Knossos on the night of 30 April, 1941" (British School at Athens, retrieved 14 September 2020). Hutchinson (1894-1970) was described in his obituary as the "'Squire' of Knossos and its estate a term of affection that outlasted his office as Curator, but one which was peculiarly apt An archaeologist of wide experience before he came to Crete, it was this island that exercised the greatest and most lasting influence over him his breadth of knowledge and wisdom, and complete understanding of the Cretan scene, are expressed in his Prehistoric Crete 1962, a work of remarkable penetration. He had malice towards none, and in all with whom he was in any way connected he inspired deep affection and rightly so" (V. R. Desborough in Kadmos, Vol. 9, Issue 2, 1970).

The photographer, George Boucas (1879-1941), was born George Bougioukas on Lesbos. On the eve of the Greco-Turkish War (1897) he and his brother Eustace left for London and established a studio at 120 Mile End Road, Stepney, in the East End. He exhibited at the Royal Photographic Society Exhibition in 1901 and between 1902 and 1910 ran another studio at Ilford in Essex. In 1912 he opened a further establishment at Smyrna (Izmir, Turkey) but with the outbreak of war in 1914 returned to London. However, when Greece joined the conflict on the side of the Entente he returned to Athens and established a studio there, becoming official photographer to the Greek royal family.

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Original sepia-toned silver gelatin print (overall 253 x 193 mm; image 193 x 140 mm); embossed studio stamp lower right corner (slightly shaved); presented in a period dark brown leather padded fold-over desk frame, pale brown marbled lining, window trimmed with a gilt foliate roll.


Desk frame slightly worn, stud fastener strap broken, a touch of mottling and silvering to image, generally a little dusty, yet still in excellent condition.


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