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Royall Tyler to Mildred Barnes Bliss, April 30, 1931

29, rue d’Astorg
Paris F Anjou 16–88
30.IV.31Thursday.

Dearest Mildred—Your Coptic tapestry has arrived, and I have just been viewing it with Metman, Guérin, Alfassa, Salles and Duthuit. Their enthusiasm knows no bounds. Alfassa, who was inclined to be doubtful about our ability to get together a Byz. Exhibition of the first order, simply boiled over with delight, and proclaimed that it beat all the Gothic tapestries in the world into a cocked hat. The Antioch ChaliceAntioch Chalice,” ca. 500–600, silver and silver-gilt, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, acc. no. 50.4. When the chalice was discovered at the beginning of the twentieth century, it was argued to have been found in Antioch, and its plain silver interior bowl was identified as the Holy Grail, the cup used by Christ at the Last Supper. It was owned by the dealer Kouchakji Frères, New York, and later by Fahim Kouchakji, New York, until 1950, when it was acquired by the Metropolitan Museum of Art. has also come. It is much finer than I’d thought from the photos.

Russia has turned us down flat, but Italy is sending a most astounding loan, things I’d never dared hope for, such as the Rossano Codex,The Rossano Gospels, sixth-century illuminated manuscript gospel book, Cathedral of Rossano, Italy. See Exposition internationale d’art byzantin, 28 mai–9 juillet 1931 (Paris: Musée des arts décoratifs, 1931), 171, no. 644. the Job Codex from Naples,Old Testament manuscript fragment, fifth century, Biblioteca Vittorio Emanuele III, Naples, MS 1 B 18. The manuscript has eight surviving folios and includes the text from Job 40:8 to Proverbs 3:19. On folio 4 verso, there is a large pen drawing illustrating Job and his daughters. Exposition internationale d’art byzantin, 28 mai–9 juillet 1931 (Paris: Musée des arts décoratifs, 1931), 171, no. 645. the JobJob illuminated manuscript, 905 CE, Biblioteca Nationale Marciana, Venice, Codex Gr. 538. This manuscript was not lent to the exhibition. and OffianHalieutica or Cynegetica by Oppian, Italian, eleventh century, Biblioteca Marciana, Venice, Ms grec 479. See Exposition internationale d’art byzantin, 28 mai–9 juillet 1931 (Paris: Musée des arts décoratifs, 1931), 171, no. 646. Codices from the Marciana, and the pick of the Castello Sforzesco,Castello Sforzesco, a castle in Milan, Italy, formerly the seat and residence of the Duchy of Milan, which now houses several of the city’s museums and art collections. See Exposition internationale d’art byzantin, 28 mai–9 juillet 1931 (Paris: Musée des arts décoratifs, 1931),69 and 152, nos. 61 and 527. the Bargello,Museo Nazionale del Bargello, a former barracks and prison in Florence, Italy, which is now an art museum. See Exposition internationale d’art byzantin, 28 mai–9 juillet 1931 (Paris: Musée des arts décoratifs, 1931), 64, 78, 80, 83, 85, 111, 152, and 169, nos. 30, 108, 122, 138, 152, 307, 530, and 634. the Kircheriano,Museo Kircheriano, a public collection of antiquities and curiosities founded in 1651 by the Jesuit priest Athanasius Kircher in the Collegio Romano in Rome, Italy. No objects were lent from this museum. a lot from RavennaMuseo Nazionale, Ravenna. See Exposition internationale d’art byzantin, 28 mai–9 juillet 1931 (Paris: Musée des arts décoratifs, 1931), 68, nos. 53 and 54.—etc etc.

It is heart breaking to think you won’t be there. I believe your ECTIA ΠOΛUOΛBOC tapestryThe Greek inscription reads Hestia Polyolbos (Hestia, Giver of Blessing). See Exposition internationale d’art byzantin, 28 mai–9 juillet 1931 (Paris: Musée des arts décoratifs, 1931), 92, no. 190, pl. 7. will be considered the finest thing in the Show.

No news of the portative mosaicHayford Peirce acquired the icon from Géza Dános (1886–1990), a Jewish Hungarian collector, in Paris in 1931, and his widow, Polly, gave it to the Dumbarton Oaks Research Library and Collection in memory of Hayford Peirce in October 1947. yet. Much love

Yrs
R. T.

 
Associated Things: Byzantine Exhibition of 1931
Associated Artworks: BZ.1929.1; BZ.1936.20; BZ.1947.24