Royall Tyler to Robert Woods Bliss, February 16, 1940

Hotel Richemond

Genève

16.I.40

Dear Robert.

I’ve just returned here after a rapid Paris-Brussels-London-Paris trip, and am starting off again tomorrow for Pest. I found your letter of Jan. 2–13. Many thanks. I’m so glad about all you tell me of Bill, & or Doro.

My impression is that it would be better to let Mrs. ByneMildred Stapley Byne (1874–1941), wife of the dealer and art scholar Arthur Byne (1884–1935). Born in the United States, the Bynes had moved to Madrid in 1916. See letter of January 2, 1940. stew for a while. I don’t think HarrisLionel Harris (1862–1943), director of the Spanish Art Gallery, 8 Chesterfield Gardens, Curzon Street, London. His son, Tomás Harris (1908–1964) was also in correspondence about the Visigothic pieces. will sell at anything like the price you mention, from what I heard in London, and I fear that if we showed interest now it would just delay the process of deflation. Also, I’m not at all sure you want any more of that stuff. Pity I didn’t get your letter before I went to London, I might have seen the stuff. I’ll probably be going there again some day before long, but I’m not sure if I shall do so before going to USA—probably next month?? I’ll cable as soon as I know.

The more I think of the great EumoGeorge Eumorfopoulos. inlaid bronze vessel,Basin, Mosul, 1247–49, silver-inlaid bronze, Freer Gallery of Art, acc. no. F1955.10, ex-Duc d’Arenberg Collection, Brussels. See Nuha N. N. Khoury, “Narratives of the Holy Land: Memory, Identity, and Inverted Imagery in the Freer Basin and Canteen,” Orientations 29, no. 5 (May 1998): 63–69. with the Christian scenes, and the Rhages plateThis plate has not been identified. (intact) with the lady bathing, the surer I am you ought to have them. I sent you an air-letter about them from Paris a couple of days ago. I fear the sale may fall at a time when I’m out of reach of London, but if it does, I’d suggest you ask Sotheby’s themselves to act for you—get a line from them, if you can, as to prices. As I said, Eric spoke the other day as if he wouldn’t be able to scrape together more than £500 or £600 for the bronze vessel, & he apparently isn’t out for the Rhages. But they’re both so superb. I’d be happy to see you get the bronze vessel, even if it were to cost fr £2 or even 3 thou’. And the other, £1. I instructed Sotheby’s to send you catalogue as soon as its available, so mind you keep an eye out for it.

I’m delighted you got Kelek’s mugBZ.1939.31. and antelope textile,BZ.1939.32. and also that you like the kilim-like Antinoé textileBZ.1939.13. so much.

I really think the present moment is an unheard—& undreamt—of opportunity for those EumoGeorge Eumorfopoulos. things. You must get them. Although the prospect seems to be that they’ll go for next-to-nothing, by pre-war standards, I can see that none of the people in London & Paris who have our kind of stuff are dreaming of selling—and dear old Stoclet is still buying. By the way, beware of him for the Eumo bronze, if he hears of it. I didn’t mention it to him, you may be sure. Perhaps exchange-transfer regulations will cramp his style.

I’ve heard nothing from F. I’ll give him a shake-up one day. Hope he’s still alive. Much love to you both

R. T.

 
Associated Artworks: BZ.1939.13; BZ.1939.31; BZ.1939.32