A native of Massachusetts, George Warren Hammond (1833–1908) arrived in Maine in 1862. Over the next four decades, he served as an agent for the Warren Paper Mills in Cumberland and later for Forest Paper Mills. His association with Bowdoin College undoubtedly came by way of his family connections; Hammond was the uncle of Edward Perry Warren (1860–1928), with whom the Walker sisters had consulted in acquiring antiquities for the collections of the new Walker Art Building. In 1897, Hammond became the first donor to expand the ancient collections since the Walker sisters, with his donation of over one hundred objects, most of which represented a curious cross-section of the ancient Mediterranean. These included Egyptian, Greek, Roman, and Byzantine objects such as lamps, figurines, funerary artifacts, coins, and glass.
Little is known about Hammond’s life but, with few exceptions, the objects he collected represent the sort of antiquities that could be acquired by tourists in the late nineteenth century from dealers and markets across Europe and the Mediterranean. It is likely that Hammond collected these artifacts during travels abroad, which he could have well afforded as an agent of major paper mills. Hammond wrote that he was offering his collection in “the hope and expectation that they will be a nucleus that will induce others to send their collections, already made or to be made in the future, to Bowdoin College.” Hammond’s goal was fulfilled within the decade when Dana Estes (1840–1909) and Edward Perry Warren made major donations to the Museum.