Schliemann’s furniture – The study of Georgios Katsigras

Heinrich Schliemann’s office furniture has multiple values, as on one hand it is a rare example of Greek material culture from the late 19th century and on the other hand it is associated with two important personalities: all pieces were designed by architect Ernst Ziller on the instructions and on behalf of archaeologist Heinrich Schliemann for his residence in Athens, “Iliou Melathron”.

Their motifs (winged lions with ram’s horns, anthems, ram heads, lion legs, Athenian glaucus, satyr heads) refer to the revival of antiquity through the spirit of neoclassicism.

The furniture was made in Vienna in 1880 from walnut, and in 1955 doctor Georgios Katsigras bought it from the second-hand seller Stathis Kyrloglou – although Queen Frederica also claimed it – to place it in his study, first in the clinic and then in his personal practice. The collection is accompanied by three bronze statues – Penelope, Dionysus and a horseman.

The furniture pieces came into the possession of the Municipal Art Gallery of Larissa as a legacy of Georgios Katsigras in 1998 along with 1170 books and 57 additional works of art that composed the collector’s donation to the city of Larissa.

Since then, they are permanently exhibited in the Municipal Art Gallery of Larissa – G.I. Katsigras Museum. In 2001, by ministerial decision, they were designated works of art in need of special state protection.