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Royall Tyler to Robert Woods Bliss, May 6, 1937

Budapest 6th May 1937.

My dear Robert,

I have received from Stora the enclosed photograph of a very interesting wooden Coptic panelThis Coptic panel has not been identified. which appears to me to be of the VI° or at the latest VII° century and of good style. I am also sending you Stora's letterThis letter has not been preserved. about it and a note on the inscriptions.

I have got StephenBZ.1937.19. in my possession, and will send him along as soon as opportunity offers. I have paid for him, the total price amounting to £172-18-7.

Volbach has sent me a letter from Fiedler, of which I send you a translation.

I have received the remittance of 6000, and will make the payment for the ivoryBZ.1937.18. as soon as it has been sent off to you, properly insured in Dollars or Swiss Francs.

with love to you both


R. T.

I saw Bill for a couple of days. He is well and very cheerful—delighted about the London job.


Translation of letter from H. Fiedler



30th April 1937.

Dear Dr. Volbach,

The day before yesterday, 28th April, I had a talk with Mr. Tyler at the Hotel Beau Rivage. I think our conversation cleared up matters.

1/ I told Mr. Tyler that I had not handed on to the Prince the estimates made by you for some of his objects, as these estimates were only for general information but could not be considered as more than that.

2/ I explained the financial position of the Prince, who:

a/ though he has certain relations with the Nazis, is afraid of expropriation,

b/ wants to have money abroad and is therefore anxious to sell,

c/ does not want to mention a price, as he says he does not know the real values.

3/ I told Mr. Tyler that the Prince, besides the objects already mentioned has many artistic treasures, the value of which I cannot estimate, but which you ought to come and inspect.

As to points 1 and 2, Mr. Tyler said he would suggest to his friend,Robert Woods Bliss. who is considering the matter of price, that he should make an offer for one or possibly two* pieces.

On point 3, Mr. Tyler is in agreement that you should come and look at the collection. Photographs would then be taken on the spot, and prices discussed.

We then spoke about the archaic pieces.These Archaic Greek sculptures have not been identified. I told Mr.Tyler that I was on good terms with a man who is very close to Hermann,Probably Hermann Wilhelm Göring (1893–1946), a German politician, military leader, and leading member of the Nazi Party (NSDAP). Göring was not an art dealer by profession, but he used his position in the Nazi Party to acquire or loot artworks, amassing the largest private collection in Europe. and that I thought success was probable. I could not name this man, as I had given my word not to do so. The prices would be high. Mr. Tyler knew this.

Before I take further steps, it would be desirable if Mr. Tyler’s friendRobert Woods Bliss. could make up his mind how many pieces he would eventually want to buy and whether the prices, which I think will be high, and which one will not be able to screw down make it possible to buy at all. It will not be easy to get photographs in advance, but I will attempt to do so. There is no particular hurry about this matter, as the couple of people who know about it will keep the secret.

We mentioned the Gotha ivory.See letters of April 8, 1937 [2]; April 9, 1937 [1]; April 9, 1937 [2]; April 16, 1937 [1]; April 16, 1937 [2]; May 22, 1937; June 3, 1937; June 16, 1937; June 26, 1937; July 6, 1937; July 25, 1937; August 21, 1937; September 4, 1937; October 25, 1937 [1]; November 23, 1937; December 13, 1937 [3]; February 28, 1938; March 31, 1938; July 10, 1938; July 29, 1938; August 10, 1938; August 16, 1938 [2]; December 20, 1938; and January 3, 1939. Mr.Tyler gave me an upward limit of £1.000. I will try to get it cheaper. Please give me an exact description of the object.

Mr. Tyler also showed interest in stuffs,“Textiles.” as you already told me. It would be good if we could have a talk about this before long.

[in the handwriting of Royall Tyler] *Note I think I said “one”, i.e. the round emperor.BZ.1937.23. In the conversation, F. brought up the stags relief,Stags and vase relief, probably marble. See Gerd-H. Zuchold, Der “Klosterhof” des Prinzen Karl von Preussen im Park von Schloss Glienicke in Berlin (Berlin: Gebr. Mann Verlag, 1993), 1:pl. 122 and 2:148, no. 130. of which a photo has been sent you. R. T.

Associated Places: Budapest (Hungary)
Associated Things: M. & R. Stora, Paris
Associated Artworks: BZ.1937.18; BZ.1937.19; BZ.1937.23