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Royall Tyler to Mildred Barnes Bliss, October 12, 1929

29 r. d’Astorg
Paris VIIIe
12.X.29Saturday.

I have been to see Mallon, dearest Mildred, and he has nothing you would want. I don’t particularly care for the stuffsIn a letter dated July 10, 1929, Paul Mallon wrote Mildred Bliss that he had recently received two extraordinary Coptic textiles, photographs of which he enclosed. Byzantine Collection, Paul Mallon file. he sent you photos of. It doesn’t seem worth while to wire about them.

There is another matter, much more urgent, which is too long to wire about, but which I feel I know how you would like handled.

Marc Rosenberg (of Baden-Baden, the greatest authority on gold and silversmith’s work) is selling his collection in Berlin, on Nov. 4.Sammlung Marc Rosenberg (Berlin: Hermann Ball and Paul Graupe, 1929). There are, in the 360 or so numbers, about 20, Barbarian, Merovingian, Longobard, Byz. and Peruvian (!) jewels, fibulae, bosses, etc, which you would, I know, like. There are more than 20 actual objects—20 lots, say.

I can’t possibly go to Berlin on Nov. 4, but Kalebdjian is going in any case, and I have given him limited commissions for these lots, amounting to about 100,000 Fr. francs.

One can’t possibly tell how the sale will go, but Rosenberg is so well known that I’m afraid we may fail to get some of them—I trust not all will escape. If we do get all or most of them, I shall ask you for some more deposit—and I’ll send you an account of what has been spent so far.

I haven’t heard yet from you about Kaleb’s Scythian collectionThis collection was not acquired. See letters of September 28, 1929; December 14, 1929; December 15, 1929 [1]; December 15, 1929 [2]; and December 17, 1929 [1].—but even if I do hear you want it, I shall not tell Kaleb. until after the Rosenberg sale, so that if you get a lot of that stuff, and feel like refusing the Scythian lot, you may still do so.

Robert told me you wanted a very long table—I know of one here, nearly 4 metres long by about 0.90 broad, the top one grand single piece of walnut and the legs very good; Spanish, which I think would suit.Although the Blisses acquired this table, it is no longer in the Dumbarton Oaks Collection and it has not been identified. In various letters, the table is described as Spanish, made of walnut with a single board top, and measuring approximately 350 cm x 90 cm. The dealer was Boutreux on the Île de la Cité, Paris. See letters of May 19, 1929; December 14, 1929; December 15, 1929 [1]; December 15, 1929 [2]; December 28, 1929; and May 16, 1930. They ask 14000 francs. I am having them hold it. Please wire if you want it or not.

I got 3 weeks at Antigny, and Hayford turned up in the later part of my stay, and is still there. We did some work. I was very sorry not to be there when Mrs. McLeanMrs. Frederick Forrest (Kathleen Burke) Peabody, who married John Reginald McLean on March 2, 1929. He died in an automobile accident on March 11, 1929, on their honeymoon in Montecito, California. came. She seems to have liked Hayford, who showed her our photos., and she most kindly speaks of further endowing the fund. I saw her here before she left.

Bill has just been up here to see the doctor, who was much pleased with the progress.See letters of August 11, 1929, and August 13, 1929. However, it was clear to me that the doctor hadn’t dared to tell Elisina, at the beginning, how bad Bill was. There can be no question of his going to Oxford until this time next year. If all goes as at present, his lung should be normal by the end of Feb., but hardly earlier. He is free of bacilliKoch’s bacillus (Mycobacterium tuberculosis), the causative agent of most cases of tuberculosis. It was first discovered in 1882 by Robert Koch (1843–1910). already,See letter of September 28, 1929: “Bill’s last analysis showed him completely free from Koch bacilli . . .” his temperature is quite satisfactory, he doesn’t cough. Thank God! He is very cheerful, and has taken the disappointment about Oxford perfectly. We are thinking of sending him to Austria in a month or so (the doctor approves) if we can find a family in the country whom we are sure of in all respects.For William Royall Tyler’s trip to Austria following his illness, see letters of September 18, 1929; October 23, 1929; December 28, 1929; February 10, 1930; and March 6, 1930. He wants to learn German, and if he can get it thoroughly now, the loss of a year at Oxford wouldn’t loom so large on the passive side of the balance sheet.

If we can’t find a perfectly satisfactory family in Austria, we shall probably send him to Italy until Feb., when we may hope he’ll be well enough to take his chance like any one else.

Elisina has had a heavy blow—her brother Louis,Luigi (Louis Percy) Palamidessi de Castle (1876–1929). whom she adored, died the other day in S. Africa of heart trouble. He married out there, someoneFrances van Zyl. whom we’ve never seen, but who writes a very good letter, with dignity and kindness. One little boy.Gerard Blankenburgh de Castle (b. 1918).

Did I tell you that Elisina’s sister, Pitzy, married the other day?See also letter of August 13, 1929. Of course a clergyman—the Rev. Douglas Richardson, Vicar of Four Oaks, Warwickshire,Robert Douglas Richardson (b. 1892); they married on October 1, 1929. whom I’ve never seen, but who is considered one of the hopes of the Modernist party in the Church, and is a special pet of that arch-Modernist, the Bp. of Birmingham. Ghiga AloisiPossibly Maria Federiga de Larderel Aloisi, the wife of Pompeo Aloisi, an Italian diplomat and senator. wrote ‘Io avrei creduto che frá tanti inglesi, Linetta avrebbe potuto scegliere uno che non fosse prete.’“I would have thought that among so many Englishmen, Linetta would have been able to choose one who wasn’t a priest.”

I have been very busy here getting my bearings. Tomorrow, I’m going to London, then to Holland and Belgium, then back here for a week or so, then to Spain.

I had hoped to go to Hungary about now, for Fettich is digging at Iváncz (the Sigray’s place).Iváncz, Hungary, a small village with the Sigray estate, then owned by Count Antal “Anton” Sigray (1879–1947).

The last couple of months have been a very anxious time for the City of London, but since the bank rate was put up to 6 1/2 there has been a great improvement in the exchanges, and London is no longer losing gold to France and the US.

Much love, dearest Mildred.

Yrs
R. T.

 
Associated Things: Kalebdjian Frères