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Royall Tyler to Robert Woods Bliss, August 2, 1937

Pavillon Colombe

St. Brice-sous-Forêt (S&O)

Dear Robert.

I saw this morning at Kalebdjian’s two very attractive chalcedony phalerae,In a letter from Kalebdjian Frères to Robert Woods Bliss, dated August 3, 1937, the two phalerae are described as made of chalcedony-saphirine and measuring 57 mm high x 50 mm (no. 1) and 47 mm (no. 2) wide. Byzantine Collection, Kalebdjian Frèrer file. forming a pair (not identical), one a bit damaged but not in a part that matters much. They are military emblems of rank, of about the time of Constantine the Great.Constantine the Great(ca. 272–337), Roman emperor between 306 and 337. I like them very much, & I think this pair wd. look very well flanking your Annius Verus.BZ.1937.20. Kaleb. wants Frs. 12000 for the two (they “don’t belong to him”). It’s a very reasonable price. I told him to send you photos.

I also saw, at Stora’s, a little IV-V cent. capitalIn a letter from Maurice Stora to Robert Woods Bliss, dated August 3, 1937, this capital is described as “un très beau petit chapiteau du IVme ou Vme siècle qui provident de Carthage. Il est en marbre très joli de couleur, un peu rosé.” (a very beautiful small capital from the fourth or fifth century that comes from Carthage. It is of marble very nice in color, a little pink.) On the back of the photograph of the capital, the dimensions are given as 14.5 cm high by 14.5 cm wide. Byzantine Collection dealer files, M. & R. Stora correspondence. in pinkish marble, which Stora picked up the other day in the souk at Tunis, & which must come from one of the Constantinian basilicas in Tunisia, I think you’d find it useful—perhaps as a stand to put something else on. Plain, but very good style. Again, it “belongs to a colleague”, who wants Frs. 5000 for it. I told Stora I wouldn’t advise you to give more than Frs. 3000. He is to send you a photo.

I’m off to Antigny for a few days tomorrow. No change in Edith’s condition.

I sent you the El Greco show catalogue,Georges Wildenstein et al., Domenico Theotocopuli, El Greco (Paris: La Gazette des Beaux-Arts, 1937). by post registered, this morning.

Much love to you both


R. T.

Associated People: Edith Wharton
Associated Artworks: BZ.1937.20