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Royall Tyler to Mildred Barnes Bliss, May 3, 1930

Hotel Sacher

Dearest Mildred,

I’ve seen the FigdorAlbert Figdor (1843–1927), a Viennese banker and collector. things,Max J. Friedländer, Die Sammlung Dr. Albert Figdor, Wien (Berlin: Cassirer, 1930). and have had a bad shock, the worst since the Sanguszko carpet, administered to me by Fig’s Catalogue No. 202.Garden carpet, Persian, second half of the sixteenth century, silk and gold and silver threads. See Max J. Friedländer, Die Sammlung Dr. Albert Figdor, Wien (Berlin: Cassirer, 1930), no. 202, pls. 51 and 52. The carpet is now in the Österreichisches Museum für Angewandte Kunst, Vienna. See Friedrich Paul Theodor Sarre and Hermann Renkwald, Alt-orientalische Teppiche, vol. 2 (Vienna: Schroll, 1929), pl. 12. I’ll describe it to you when we meet, but it’s a holy terror, all right, perhaps the most delicious rug I’ve ever seen, so rich and yet delicate in colour, so discreet and yet witty in drawing. Jesus!

The only other thing of very great importance is the Tapestry, No. 36, which is a superb thing.Wool tapestry, Flemish (Tournai), second half of the fifteenth century. See Max J. Friedländer, Die Sammlung Dr. Albert Figdor, Wien (Berlin: Cassirer, 1930), no. 36, pls. 18–20. The tapestry is now in the Kunstindustrimuseet, Copenhagen. Unrestored except for one little bit—the two ships in the middle-top—very dirty, but could be cleaned with bread-crumb, and very grand in style, composition and colour.

But that rug! I almost think you’ll have to come here to see it.

Thank you so much for your wire which I got in Berlin, and for having Bill to lunch, and making the transfer to my a/c.

I handed over your two objects from the Seligmann sale,See Paul Clemen, Otto von Falke, and Georg Swarzenski, Die Sammlung Dr. Leopold Seligmann, Köln (Berlin: Hermann Ball–Paul Graupe, 1930). No. 26: Early Christian bronze lampstand (BZ.1930.5), pl. 8; and no. 57: Venetian, thirteenth-century ivory Eucharastic spoon, pl. 14. No. 57, which was auctioned and acquired as a Venetian thirteenth-century ivory Eucharistic spoon with a pelican finial, is now identified as an Edo (Benin) sixteenth- or seventeenth-century export carving. It is in the National Museum of African Art, Washington, D.C., acc. no. 69-20-4, a bequest of Mildred Barnes Bliss. See letter of April 28, 1930 [2]. together with some other trifles I got, to the Embassy, and they were to have sent them to Paris by the bag last Wed., April 30th.

I’m leaving for Budapest, Hot. Hungaria, tomorrow Sunday, and hope to reach Paris on the 9th, Friday, by the Orient.

Longing to see you. I wish I could bring you that rug. Old Fig. never showed it to me, the old rascal.

You’ll find photos of it in the Catalogue, which Eric must have at the S. Ken., and also of the tapestry.

Much love to you both

R. T.

Associated People: Eric Maclagan; William Royall Tyler
Associated Artworks: BZ.1930.5