Royall Tyler to Mildred Barnes, October 10, 1906
22, King Street,
St. James’, S.W.The address on the letterhead (22, King Street, St. James’, SW) was the London address of the antiques dealer George Roe, “dealer in antique plate, jewels, and works of art.” See his advertisement in The Connoisseur 11, no. 42 (February 1905): 53.
Oct. 10th 1906
It is a quarter to twelve, so you see it was a near thing. I left CiboureCiboure, France, near Saint-Jean-de-Luz in the Pyrenees, the home of Patrick William Stuart-Menteath. (Basses Pyrenées not far from St. Jean de Luz) yesterday afternoon, stopped between two trains at Bayonne, and went on to Paris with an important acquisition and just exactly enough money to buy a second class ticket with. The acquisition is a Hispano-Moresque bowl,The nature and present location of this bowl have not been identified. Hispano-Moresque ware was an Islamic glazed pottery created in Al Andalus (Muslim Spain); it continued to be produced under Christian rule in styles blending Islamic and European elements. of which my arms just encompass the top. Valencian, penultimate period XVI cent.By the fifteenth century, the largest production of Hispano-Moresque ware was from the area around Valencia, which had been reconquered by the Kingdom of Aragon in 1238. Royall Tyler discussed Valencian Hispano-Moresque ware in Spain, A Study of Her Life and Arts, 482–87, but he did not discuss or illustrate the bowl. Pink and fern design reflet“Luster.” very fine and the tones so soft that one seems to sink into the thing and rest in a Nirvana of glowing golden clouds. It is broken and the pieces are all complete and when it is skilfully [sic] riveted—. In all Spain I saw not one of such a size, and I unearthed it in a photographer’s attic, full of every sort of filthiness, old combs, toothbrushes, ect [sic]. I spent the night in the above mentioned second class compartment, with two more people than the law allows, footmen and maids—if there had been a third in the train of course I’d have taken it—with the great bowl in my arms—preparatory stages to Nirvana—purgatory with a glimpse of paradise.
I arrived dead at Paris, drove to my house, arrayed myself in—not in a purple but a brown tie and fine linen, and hied me to Saint Germain des Prés,The Benedictine Abbey of Saint-Germain-des-Prés, on the Left Bank in Paris, was built between 990 and 1014. This church was the site of the Anniversary. where my joy at having kept the tryst was not a little dampened by the thought that it might be the last time. Saint Germain des Prés may be a Masonic Lodge at this time next year—but do not let us speak of such hideous things.Royall Tyler is jesting here; he is referring to the separation of church and state laws that recently had been enacted in France and to the role the Masons had in bringing this about. See letter of November 26, 1904.
I tore about Paris, succeeded in raising a little money and caught this 4 P.M. train, and here am I.
[This unfinished letter was included with the following letter of October 29, 1906.]