Collection Vassalli MSS - Luigi Vassalli Collection

Identity area

Reference code

Vassalli MSS


Luigi Vassalli Collection


  • 1859-1884 (Creation)

Level of description


Extent and medium

1 envelope

Context area

Name of creator


Biographical history

Italian Egyptologist; he was born in Milan, 8 Jan. 1812, son of Giuseppe V. and Maddalena Brutpacher; he studied painting but was later involved in a political plot, and was condemned to death, although afterwards the sentence was commuted and he was released; he took refuge in Switzerland, France and England where he earned a living by teaching Italian and selling pictures; he went to Egypt about 1841 where he lived as a portrait-painter and dealer; he returned to Milan, 1848, but again went into exile in Egypt in 1849; he travelled to Constantinople and Smyrna, where he married; his wife died a few months later, and he returned to Egypt; as a dealer he had become acquainted with Mariette by 1853 when he sold him the coffin of King Intef; in 1856 he sold some important papyri to the British Museum (EA 100068, 100083, 10403); in 1859 he became assistant to Mariette and conducted many of his excavations; he served in Garibaldi's army, 1860, and was named curator of Egyptian antiquities at the Naples Museum, 1860; he was Keeper of the Bulaq Museum, 1865-83; temporary Director, 18 Jan.-7 Feb. 1881; he retired to Milan in 1883 and then Rome in 1884; he published Opuscules Divers, 2 vols. 1864-7; I Monumenti istorici egizi, it Musueo e gli scavi d'antichita eseguiti per ordine di S. A. Vicere Ismail Pascia; notizia sommaria, 1869; I Musei Egizi d'Italia, 1873; there is a marble bust of him in the Cairo Museum; a collection of his Egyptian antiquities and books was acquired in the 1930s by the American collector Horace L. Mayer, who were donated many to the Boston Museum; his papers are in the Griffith Institute, Oxford, and at Milan; he died in Rome, 13 June 1887.

Archival history

Immediate source of acquisition or transfer

Photocopies made from photographs lent by Professor Curto in August 1971.

Content and structure area

Scope and content

Photocopies of papers kept at Castello Sforzesco, Milan.

Appraisal, destruction and scheduling


System of arrangement

Arranged/numbered according to Tiradritti's publication. Photocopies not identified added at end and with Griffith Institute's own numbering system.

Conditions of access and use area

Conditions governing access

Property of the Griffith Institute. No restrictions. Consultation only.

Conditions governing reproduction

Copyright Castello Sforzesco, Milan.

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Finding aids

Allied materials area

Existence and location of originals

These are photocopies from photographs. The originals are at Castello Sforzesco, Milan.

Existence and location of copies

Set of photographs in the hands of Professor Curto in 1971.

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Physical storage

  • Shelf: 0702A