Copyright 2000-2019 John N. Lupia, III

Raptopoulos was a very famous coin thief in Athens, Greece in the late 19th century, celebrated for one of the greatest heists in coin history. He was compared to Timoleon Pericles Blasto, also spelled Vlaso, the famous thief of the British Museum discovered and convicted in 1844. Raptopoulos was a very daring thief whose arrogance caught up with him sending him where he belonged, to prison. Raptopoulos robbed the Athens Museum of all the rarest coins in its collection and smuggled them into Paris selling them to the renowned firm of Messrs. Rollin & Feuardent. Not content with making a killing in the market on stolen loot Raptopoulos drunk with arrogance decided to rob Rollin & Feuardent and flee elsewhere, probably to America, to resell the same stolen coins. Fortunately, he was caught. Below is just one newspaper clipping that published the story written by B. B. of the St. James Gazette newspaper of London, which circulated on the wire published in papers all over the world in 1888.

The American Architect and Building News, Vol. XXIII, No. 647, May 19, 1888, page 238.

The reporter apparently misreading Raptopoulos probably due to a weak or poor struck "u" thinking it was "ri" and consequently misspelled Raptopoulos as Raptoporilos. News-Palladium, Saturday, March 31, 1888, page 4.

Bibliography :

John Yong Akerman, Numismatic Chronicle (1849/50) : 51

Charles Thomas Newton, Travels & Discoveries in the Levant (London : Day & Son, 1865) Volume 2 : 17

Sir Sidney Colvin, Memories & Notes of Persons & Places. (New York : Charles Scribner's Sons, 1921) : 218

Harrington Manville, Biographical Dictionary of British and Irish Numismatics ( London : Spink, 2009)