Open main menu

Ionides, Constantine Alexander (DNB01)

IONIDES, CONSTANTINE ALEXANDER (1833–1900), public benefactor, born in Manchester on 14 May 1833, was the eldest son of Alexander Constantine Ionides by Euterpe, daughter of Lucas Sgonta. He commenced a business career in Manchester in 1850, and, some five years later, went out to Bucharest in the wheat trade. Subsequently he returned to England, and in 1864 entered the London Stock Exchange, realising a considerable fortune, and accumulating many superb pictures and articles of vertu at his residence, 8 Holland Villas Road, Kensington. In 1882 he retired from active business, and nine years later he transferred the whole of his collection to his house, 23 Second Avenue, Brighton, which he had bought in 1884. He died at Brighton on 29 June 1900, and was buried on 2 July at the Hove cemetery. He married in 1860 Agathonike, daughter of Constantine Fenerli at Constantinople, and left issue three daughters and five sons. There are two portraits of Ionides as a boy in a group by Mr. G. F. Watts, a miniature by Ross dated 1853, a later portrait (1880) by Mr. Watts, and a bronze portrait medal designed in 1882 by A. Legros.

Ionides bequeathed his pictures, pastels, etchings, drawings, and engravings to the Victoria and Albert (South Kensington) Museum, on condition that they should be kept together and in no way concealed from the public view. The pictures include examples of Botticelli, Poussin, Rembrandt, Ostade, Paul Potter, Ruysdael, Terborch, Le Nain, Delacroix, Millet, Corot, Degas, Lhermitte, Rossetti, and a number of portraits by Mr. G. F. Watts.

[Times, 23 July 1900; private information.]

T. S.