You are here:Home/Resources/ Bliss-Tyler Correspondence/ Argentina, Budapest, and Paris (1928–1933)/ Royall Tyler to Mildred Barnes Bliss, April 28, 1930 [2]
 
Royall Tyler to Mildred Barnes Bliss, April 28, 1930 [2]

Hotel Esplanade Berlin
Berlin W9, den 28.IV.1930Monday.
Bellevuestrade
Kurforst 6751

I got your wireless in time,See telegram of April 27, 1930. dearest Mildred, badly garbled, but conveying its meaning all right.

The enamel I didn’t try for, as on inspection it turned out to be very dull and opaque, and I think it is Provincial Byz., perhaps S. Italian, late XIe cent.See Paul Clemen, Otto von Falke, and Georg Swarzenski, Die Sammlung Dr. Leopold Seligmann, Köln (Berlin: Hermann Ball–Paul Graupe, 1930). No. 48: Ravannate or Egyptian champlevé enamel with Saints Constantine and Helen, pl. 13. It fetched over $1,700., which is a good price for what it is. I’m quite sure you wouldn’t have cared for it.

The candlestick, No 26,See Paul Clemen, Otto von Falke, and Georg Swarzenski, Die Sammlung Dr. Leopold Seligmann, Köln (Berlin: Hermann Ball–Paul Graupe, 1930), no. 26, pl. 8. which is a very fine thing and of enormous interest, was amazingly cheap, under $200.—commission included.

The spoon with the pelican on itSee Paul Clemen, Otto von Falke, and Georg Swarzenski, Die Sammlung Dr. Leopold Seligmann, Köln (Berlin: Hermann Ball–Paul Graupe, 1930). No. 57: Venetian, thirteenth-century ivory Eucharastic spoon, pl. 14. No. 57, which was auctioned and acquired as a Venetian thirteenth-century ivory Eucharistic spoon with a pelican finial, is now identified as an Edo (Benin) sixteenth- or seventeenth-century export carving. It is in the National Museum of African Art, Washington, D.C., acc. no. 69-20-4, a bequest of Mildred Barnes Bliss. was pretty dear, about $1,900.—commission included, but I went for it because it is such a delightful object and because the other thing went so cheap. I had been prepared to go to $1000.00 for the candlestick.

So the 2 objects I’ve got for you come to about $2000.—between them.

At tomorrow’s sale there is that piece of textile. No. 187 of the catalogue,See Paul Clemen, Otto von Falke, and Georg Swarzenski, Die Sammlung Dr. Leopold Seligmann, Köln (Berlin: Hermann Ball–Paul Graupe, 1930). No. 187: Byzantine eighth-century silk textile fragment, pl. 75. which I want to get for Hayford if it doesn’t fetch over $2000. I’m acting without his asking me, as the catalogue didn’t reach him in the wilds of Maine in time for him to wire me, but I’m pretty sure he’ll want it. As I haven’t got enough in hand to try for the textile, I’m wiring Robert asking him to transfer $2000 to my account at Hambros, and we’ll straighten out the accounts when we meet in Paris.

I got the auctioneer to reduce his commission from 15% to 13%.

I’ve arranged with Wiley at the Embassy hereJohn Cooper Wiley (1893–1967), a senior foreign service officer at the U.S. embassy in Berlin. that he’ll send the things to the Embassy in Paris by the bag, as otherwise they’d have to pay the French duty.

I’m staying here until Thursday, as my business in Vienna doesn’t become urgent till Friday, and I’m glad to have a bit of time to see things here. I hope to be back in Paris on May 9th, and am overjoyed to think of your arriving on or about the 10th.

The ivory spoonSee Paul Clemen, Otto von Falke, and Georg Swarzenski, Die Sammlung Dr. Leopold Seligmann, Köln (Berlin: Hermann Ball–Paul Graupe, 1930). No. 57: Venetian, thirteenth-century ivory Eucharastic spoon, pl. 14. No. 57, which was auctioned and acquired as a Venetian thirteenth-century ivory Eucharistic spoon with a pelican finial, is now identified as an Edo (Benin) sixteenth- or seventeenth-century export carving. It is in the National Museum of African Art, Washington, D.C., acc. no. 69-20-4, a bequest of Mildred Barnes Bliss. is a most alluring object. I’ve never seen anything like it. I don’t think it’s Byzantine. Falke,Otto von Falke (1862–1942), a German art historian who specialized in the decorative arts and who succeeded Wilhelm von Bode as general director of the Berlin State Museums in 1920. Von Falke was one of the authors of the Seligmann auction catalogue. with whom I looked at it, thinks it is Venetian or S. Italian. I’m quite in the dark, but that opinion (Falke’s) seems plausible. Anyway, it’s a most delicate and curious work of art. The barbarian jewels brought very high prices. No. 88,See Paul Clemen, Otto von Falke, and Georg Swarzenski, Die Sammlung Dr. Leopold Seligmann, Köln (Berlin: Hermann Ball–Paul Graupe, 1930). No. 88: gave find consisting of five objects including a bronze gilt fibula with stones and a bronze fibula. which I liked particularly, fetched about $6000.—I had thought, if it went for about $1000.—I might mop it up.

I’ve got a couple of minor things for myself (or Hayford, if he wants them).

I’m looking forward most eagerly to seeing you, dearest Mildred.

Love to you both

R. T.

The FigdorAlbert Figdor (1843–1927), a Viennese banker and collector. things are in Vienna,Max J. Friedländer, Die Sammlung Dr. Albert Figdor, Wien (Berlin: Cassirer, 1930). and I’m trying to arrange to see them there.

 
Associated People: Hayford Peirce
Associated Places: Berlin (Germany); Paris (France)
Associated Artworks: BZ.1930.5