Collection RC0535 - Sir Sidney Waterlow and Katina Paxinou collection

Title and statement of responsibility area

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Sir Sidney Waterlow and Katina Paxinou collection

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Statement of scale (cartographic)

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Issuing jurisdiction and denomination (philatelic)

Dates of creation area


  • 1938-1939 (Creation)

Physical description area

Physical description

6 cm of textual records

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Archival description area

Name of creator

Paxinou, Katina (1900-1973)

Biographical history

Katina Paxinou was born on 17 December 1900 in Piraeus, Greece. At thirteen, Paxinou studied for three years at the Conservatory of Geneva, Switzerland, a period of study that inevitably launched her career as a film and theatre actress, song writer, and opera singer. In 1930, after a six month tour of the United States, Paxinou was married to Greece’s foremost actor, Alexis Minotis. Together, the husband and wife team founded the Royal Theatre of Athens. Paxinou is well known for her role as Electra, and in North America as the 1943 Academy Award winning best actress in a supporting role for her portrayal of Pilar in the film For Whom the Bell Tolls. Paxinou died on 22 February 1973 in Athens.

Name of creator

Waterlow, Sydney (1878-1844)

Biographical history

Sir Sydney Philip Perigal Waterlow, born 12 October 1878 in Barnet, England, was educated at Eton and Trinity College, Cambridge. After a short period as part of the diplomatic service, Waterlow returned to Cambridge to resume his studies in 1905. It was during this period that Waterlow attached himself to the Bloomsbury group, a group he kept in close contact until his death. After his second marriage to Margery Eckhard, Waterlow resumed work in the diplomatic service. From 1919 through 1929, Waterlow held the positions of acting First Secretary at the Paris Peace Conference, Director of the Foreign Division of the Department for Overseas Trade, and as Minister at Bangkok and Addis Ababa. In the decade following, Waterlow served as British Minister in Athens until 1939. Sir Sydney Waterlow died on 4 December 1944.

Custodial history

Scope and content

The collection consists of approximately 200 pages of love letters exchanged between Katina Paxinou and Sir Sydney Waterlow between 1938 and 1939. There are 45 letters written by Paxinou, 30 by Waterlow. The letters are written in French with occasional sections in Greek and English.

Notes area

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Immediate source of acquisition

Collection (66-2008) was purchased from Sotheby’s in July 2008.


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There are no access restrictions.

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Further accruals are not expected.

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