1954 Rolls-Royce Wraith Limousine Trivia
The Duke of Cervinara was one Dimitri Sursock a decendant of the Sursock family who have origins in Turkey and Lebanon in the 17th century his namesake Dimitri formed a trading company with his brothers called Sursock brothers in the late 17th early 18th century, the family were Greek Orthodox Christians, the Ottoman Empire at that time maintained a fairly ambivalent tolerance of Christian and Jewish faiths provided they did not impinge upon the ruling Muslim faith and members of other faiths could progress in business.
The Sursock brothers traded very successfully sending grain from Syria and Turkey to Europe and England, the ships returning with English textiles, wool and cotton goods for sale in Syria, Turkey and the Lebanon (known as The Levant). In the 19th century Nicolas Sursock founded Banque Sursock in the Lebanon and as a favoured person of the Ottomans was able to buy large tracts of land thoughout the middle east accumulating fabulous wealth in the process.
Nicolas was one of financiers of the Suez Canal project and also the Beirut Hippadrome, the largest race course in the Lebanon. Over the centuries the family married into many aristocratic families thoughout Europe including England and had links to many royal families.
The family, including our Dimitri were art collectors and dealers, upon his death Dimitri donated much of his collection to the Surcock Museum in Beirut and his palaces in Italy to the Italian people. Some of the Sursock family gained influence by becoming “Dragonmen” to Royals including the ruling family in Saudi Arabia (a Dragonman was an important translator and advisor normally to ruling kings he had to be multi lingual and hold a good knowledge of the politics of other countries).
One of the homes in Beirut. The Sursock Palace. is still owned by the family and now is utilised as a wedding venue – it is an amazing building and would be so popular if in England!