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Mildred Barnes Bliss and Robert Woods Bliss to Royall Tyler, Postmarked April 7, 1930

[envelope postmark 4/7/1930]Monday.
4 rue Henri Moissan
(Quai d’Orsay)
F Ségur 70–32

En route fr. Cherbourg

Speeding away fr. you, my so dear growler,Mildred Barnes Bliss’s nickname for Royall Tyler. is a sorry thing. I envy the Russians their ‘kitchens,’Possibly a reference to the fact that many Russian kitchens are very small, cluttered spaces where families practically live and entertain their friends, as they do no not have the luxury of a separate dining area. my only panacea is Duty, an arid form of atavism which supports but does not sooth! Our last visit together must nourish me until we meet again.

On the whole I think it is a good thing Bill didn’t pass.William Royall Tyler apparently did not pass his matriculation exams at Oxford, according to the plan suggested in the letter of March 6, 1930. You & Elisina mustn’t be disappointed. Too much facility & unnecessary success are far more disturbing to the young & the year of reasonable work ahead will be studying & developing & result in his 1931 exam being a mature & good paper more useful to him in the end. I honestly believe this & am so writing him. Elisina brought that most engaging little woodpecker, de Lorey, to luncheon & we made friends. A wise & charming resource he will be. Indoujian offered us the silk fragment like ours for £400. & Robert bought it for £300!! as we wish to present it to the V. & A. We shall write Maclagan,The Blisses must have intended to lend the textile to the Victoria and Albert Museum, as they retained it for their collection. mailing letter at Lisbon & you will please take the little thing over next time you go. Tell Mlle MalyeThérèse Malye (1886–1951), Mildred Barnes Bliss’s Parisian secretary. to deliver it to you. Close study of our bank accnt. & year’s liabilities cast the die against acquiring the Daguerre treasure,The Blisses would eventually acquire this cross (BZ.1937.24) in 1937. See also letters of May 30, 1928; September 12, 1928 [2]; and November 11, 1931. ay di me.“Alas for me.” Comme bébé de consolation“As a consolation.” we got the early jade blade from Loo, our only indiscretion, & its white smooth surface pleases my senses. The Doucet bowlsJacques Doucet (1853–1929), a French fashion designer and collector. See Collection Jacques Doucet: Céramiques d’Extrême-Orient, bronzes, sculptures, peintures chinoises et japonaises, laques du Japon, faïences de la Perse, de la Transcaspie et de la Mésopotamie, miniatures persanes, vente du vendredi 28 novembre 1930 (Paris: Impr. Lahure, 1930), 27, nos. 83 and 85, pls. 23 and 24. See also letter of March 6, 1930. capsized us. Of course you must make a try for 2: details follow in magnum opus you’ll receive in Aug. Idem regarding Figdor’sAlbert Figdor (1843–1927), a Viennese banker and collector. Bosch.Figdor Collection Sale, Paul Cassirer Gallery, Berlin, September 29–30, 1930. See Max J. Friedländer, Die Sammlung Dr. Albert Figdor, Wien (Berlin: Cassirer, 1930), no. 41, pl. 27. Dutch painter Hieronymus Bosch’s (ca. 1450–1516) painting, variously known as The Wayfarer, The Peddler, and The Prodigal Son, oil on panel, ca. 71.5 cm D, was acquired at the Figdor sale by the Amsterdam dealer Jacques Goudstikker (1897–1940), who sold the painting in 1931 to the Museum Boijmans van Beuninger, Rotterdam. Unfortunately for our peace of mind Kelekian has an egyptian pottery vase of noble proportionsThe Blisses did not acquire this vase and its identity is not known. See also letters of February 14, 1931; and March 14, 1931. & a fine greyish lapis tone which we both admire as will you; a rare RakkaAr-Raqqah (also spelled Rakka), a city in north-central Syria famous for its twelfth–thirteenth century blue-glazed Raqqa ceramics. vase & a white GuébriPersian Islamic guebri ware was typical of the Buyid Dynasty (932–1055). bowl. Please see them p.d.q. & if you feel about the blue vase as we do buy it as cheap as you can for £575. is £125. too much! In view of the Doucet sale I suppose we had best let the 2 Persian pieces at Kalek’s go but I’d like yr opinion of them.The Blisses acquired two “Iranian bowls” from Kelekian: Ex.Coll.HC.C.1932.06 and Ex.Coll.HC.C.1932.07. The former is now in the Freer Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C. The Rakka is early & of very good design & glaze in spots. de Lorey thought it rare, as he had dug up a few similar fragments & never seen a whole piece. The Guébri has inscriptions but is dry and brittle. Our little white RhagesThis white-glazed bowl (Ex.Coll.HC.C.1918.01.[TC]) was believed to be from Rhages, modern Ray, Iran. is lovelier. Please purchase the big stone objectApparently this unidentified stone object, possibly a “very fine Mexican black marble mask,” was not purchased, as it was still being discussed in the letter of June 13, 1930. See also letter of January 5, 1928. at HeinBéla Hein (1883–1931), a Hungarian collector and dealer who arrived in Paris in 1910. as low as you can. We planned to go there to buy it yesterday but a russian derelict took all our time.

Speaking of which ask GobochowGobochow has not been identified. to tell you the surprising tale of one MorellauxMorellaux has not been identified. & the Ecole d’Extrème OrientThe École française d’Extrême-Orient, a French institute founded in 1900 and dedicated to the study of Asian societies. & watch that plausible & entertaining crook whose book is soon to appear—Russe no. II. General Gourko,Général Dimitri de Gourko (1872–1945), a Parisian dealer. a useful ferrit, is to be put in touch with you by Mlle Malye.Thérèse Malye (1886–1951), Mildred Barnes Bliss’s Parisian secretary. Communicate with her on arrival. He has produced tapestries, none we want, but is a good hunter and might abouter.“Link up.” He will submit his bags“Finds.” to you. Please ask him the name of the animal fr. whose tusks a cane I got for Mother is made. I never heard of the beast & have forgot its name. Russe no. III Lipkowski.Lipkowski has not been identified. Also a ferrit, but autre galère.The equivalent of “something other.” Elisina will tell you of the pictures, soit disant“So-called.” Duccio,Duccio di Buoninsegna (ca. 1255/1260—ca. 1318/1319), an Italian painter in Siena during the Proto-Renaissance. Bosch,Hieronymus Bosch (ca. 1450–1516), a Dutch Renaissance painter. Rembrandt,Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn (1606–1669), a Dutch Baroque painter and etcher. etc. he brought us. In the poor light of the Equitable strong room they looked very good. By sunlight and a loupe autre chose.“Something else.” Story: an Austrian nobleman gave some 50 or 60 paintings to a Zurich bank as security for loan. Bank now selling privately to cover itself. A russian brought some 15 or 20 to Paris & Lipkowski, as the Bank’s representative, les débité“Debited them.” one at a time, dealers being taboo. The GoyaFrancisco José de Goya y Lucientes (1746–1828), a Spanish Romantic painter and printmaker. is an honest pleasant picture; the Corneille de LyonCorneille de Lyon, a sixteenth-century Netherlandish portrait painter who was active from 1533 until his death in 1575. is dreck, over varnished & has a poorly drawn & painted hand & aussi de“Also.” [illegible]. Schoenbrun [sic]The Schönbrunn Palace was the former imperial summer residence in Vienna, Austria. & Lichtenstein [sic]The principality of Liechtenstein. were mentioned. ?? Prices interesting. Something worth having might turn up. You might follow up. L. is in Tel. Book. He says there is a good small Holbein,Probably Hans Holbein the Younger (ca. 1497–1543), a German Northern Renaissance painter and printmaker. a ‘ravishing’ Simone MartiniSimone Martini (ca. 1284–1344), an Italian International Gothic painter in Siena. & a ‘matchless’ Paolo Ucello [sic],Paolo Uccello (1397–1475), an Italian early Renaissance painter. vamos a ver.“Let’s see.” It may be a blind or they may be the poorer pictures of some good collection. This Lipkowski took Robert to see a tapestry one day & it led to a curious warren—name = Tudor Wilkinson;William Tudor Wilkinson (born 1879), a wealthy American art collector and amateur dealer from Saint Louis, Missouri, who lived in Paris. address 18 Quai d’Orleans—Nationality, U.S.A. fr. a southern state; wife, English with much beauty, possibly ex-mannequin,Kathleen Marie Rose (1892–1975), an English beauty who had been a “Ziegfeld Girl” with the Ziegfeld Follies (1917–1920), where she was known as Rose Dolores. Her appearance in a peacock costume designed by the Parisian designer Pachaud in the 1919 Midnight Frolic is often cited as the most spectacular single visual effect in any Ziegfeld production. She was trained as a model by the couturier Lady Duff (Lucille) Gordon, who brought her to New York during the First World War. She married Tudor Wilkinson in 1923, renounced the stage, and lived in Paris. his grammar poor & hands unkempt. Says he was in aviation 1917 & 18, then raced horses, tumbled on a ruined family fr. wh. he bought portraits of Wm. of Orange, his son & his mother—on wood, interesting as documents; became fascinated by the game, gave up horses, bought old Bakmeteff’s head of Dante,Portrait of a Man (Dante?), Italian, sixteenth century (?),oil on panel, present location unknown. Collection Tudor Wilkinson: Tableaux de maîtres anciens (Paris: Helio-Type Aulard, 1969), lot 49. See Rudolph Altrocchi, “The Present Status of Dante Iconography,” Italica 12, no. 2 (June 1935): 114–15. on which he has built a most exciting theory, is completely absorbed in his recherches, is unmolested by social contacts. Run him down. It’s an amusing coin perdu.“Backwater.” I wouldn’t want his tapestry or his flat, but I would like his view, his dog, & to model his wife. Remember, your letters are our only manna in the impending desert.

Bless you dearest RoyallMildred.

Robert says he has an envelope so I can prattle on. I’m not saying how we both feel at not seeing you again, nor how we hope for a quick sentiment of yr. problem & on yr. terms.It is unclear what “problem” Mildred Barnes Bliss refers to. In 1931, Tyler took leave from his employment at the Hambros Bank of London and was appointed League of Nations financial adviser to the Hungarian government in Budapest. Write me of Germany each time you hear the floor creak. I don’t like the present and the future still less. Success to all your colours & bless you again. M.B.

Please tell d’Auguerre [sic]Henri Daguerre. I tried yesterday to reach him by telephone to express regret at our not being able to see him again & to release the reserve on the Egyptian silver cat, the bird, & earrings. We freeze with sorrow.

Good bye, dear Royall. I can’t tell you what a joy it has been seeing you & our little jaunt to Vienna was grand.Royall Tyler had planned a trip to Vienna with Mildred Barnes Bliss as early as 1926. See letter of April 5, 1926.

Could you please find out who proposed and seconded me for the Burlington F. A. Club?

Affy, Robert.

 
Associated Places: Paris (France)