Royall Tyler to Robert Woods Bliss, November 29, 1939

Hôtel de Crillon

Place de la Concorde



Dear Robert.

I’ve just returned from London, and have seen Kaleb's sarco front.Sarcophagus front. Measurements are given on the back of the photograph: 61 cm high x 210 cm wide. Byzantine Collection, Kalebdjian Frères correspondence file. I bawled him out about it, because the muzzles of 6 of the animals are repaired (not that that matters much, but just for the good of his soul). I told him that he’d better tell the owner that if he wanted to sell the thing, he’d better make a big reduction on his demand of $2000. Apart from the repaired muzzles, the sculpture, tho’ rubbed, is pure & not recut, and the composition has some style. Again, I don’t urge it on you, but if you want that sort of thing, I think it would be quite a good buy. Early IV cent., if I mistake not.

The little bronze crossThis cross has not been identified. Kaleb sent me a sketch of is of no interest.

Kaleb has a little greeny-grey steatite animal in the round,Animal, steatite. Measurements are given on the back of the photograph: 4 cm high x 7 cm wide x 2 1/2 cm deep. Byzantine Collection, Kalebdjian Frères correspondence file. “found at Constantinople”, which I like—very unusual. I don’t know what period it is, but I think it comes into “our” domain. I told him to send you photos.

I had a few very interesting days in London. Le moral est bon. On les aura. Mais ça va être dur.“Morale is good. We’ll get them. But it will be hard.” I had long talks with Arthur—it’s a joy to see how the old war-horse behaves when he sniffs powder again. Of course, if his stocking plans had been adopted 2 years ago, things would be much easier now, but he’ll make it go, I’m sure. He has his old train with him.

I saw Eric, of course, who has had a fearful time moving his show, as you can imagine. Gioia very well, Tommy a staff captain in the war office. He was shot all to pieces in the last war, so I don’t think they’ll send him with troops. I leave tomorrow, & may take a trip in the other direction shortly. Much love to you both—Yrs R. T.

Associated Places: London (United Kingdom)
Associated Things: Kalebdjian Frères