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Royall Tyler to Robert Woods Bliss, February 1, 1935

Finance Ministry



Dear Robert,

Many thanks for the photos. of the Walters Byzantine MSS.The “Imperial” Menologion (W.521), Walters Art Museum, an eleventh-century illuminated collection of saints lives for the month on January that Henry Walters acquired in 1930, and the Gospel Lectionary (Walters Art Museum, W.520), attributed to the second half of the tenth century. See Georgi R. Parpulov, “A Catalogue of the Greek Manuscripts at the Walters Art Museum,” The Journal of the Walters Art Museum 62 (2004): 77–83 and 148–49. Selections of the manuscripts are available as digital facsimiles at and (accessed September 9, 2015). The one with a number of paintings is without doubt, as it seems to me, first half of the XIe century. Indeed it is an imitation of the Menologion of Basil II in the Vatican Library:Menologion of Basil II, Vaticanus graecus 1613, an eleventh-century illuminated Byzantine manuscript with 430 miniatures in the Vatican library. not as good, but pretty accomplished. We’ll see what Hayford has to say.

Gourko has sent me, at your request, photos. of a little hematite carving:Cameo of Alexios V Doukas Mourtzouphlos (Byzantine emperor, d. 1205), red jasper, depicting John the Baptist, Saint George, and Alexios Doukas. See Wladimir de Grüneisen, Collection de Grüneisen: Catalogue raisonné (Paris: J. Schemit, 1930), no. 434, figs. 18–20. The present whereabouts of this intaglio carving is unknown; the object is described in Dimitri de Gourko to Robert Woods Bliss, November 28, 1934, Byzantine Collection files, D. de Gourko correspondence. John Baptist on one side and St. George on the other, for which 21,000 fr. is asked. I know the object, which was in the Gruneisen sale in 1929.The Baron Wladimir de Grüneisen sale, Sotheby’s, London, July 2, 1929. It’s good in it’s [sic] way, and dated, but 21,000 is a huge price for it. I expect that it might be had for considerably less. I don’t think it worth more than 15000 at present. Curiously enough, Gourko calls it a diptych, which it isn’t.

Internationally, things have taken a decided turn for the better in Europe, and one hopes that the improvement will spread to the economic field. It’s a blow that the Senate should have turned down the Hague Court membership,In 1935, President Roosevelt submitted to the U.S. Senate protocols for United States membership in the Permanent Court of International Justice (World Court) at The Hague. There was popular opposition to this, and the protocols were defeated. however.

Much love to you both


R. T.

Associated People: Dimitri de Gourko; Hayford Peirce
Associated Places: Budapest (Hungary)