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Royall Tyler to Mildred Barnes Bliss, December 10, 1932


I can’t write much of a letter, dearest Mildred; I am in the middle of a report, and there are enormous budget difficulties, and there is Vol. II of Byz. Art waiting to have about a week’s solid work done on it before the text can be sent in to the clamourous publishers—as to that, Vol. I has had extremely good reviewsThe reviews include Alan Francis Clutton-Brock, “Byzantine Art, L’Art Byzantin. Vol I,” The Times Literary Supplement, September 22, 1932. and a sufficiently good reception for the publishers to have decided to increase the number they are printing, of Vol. II, to 750 (only 500 were printed of Vol. I.):See also letter of October 26, 1932. I’m sending one by Louis Gillet.Louis Gillet (1876–1943), a French art historian and literary historian.

But I must send you a line, not especially because Xmas and New Year are approaching as because I have my own reasons. And you must write to me soon—immediately please, if only a few lines.

Well, you’ll soon be seeing NiemeyerSir Otto Ernst Niemeyer (1883–1971), a British economist and a financial controller at the Treasury and a director at the Bank of England. He was in Buenos Aires in an unofficial capacity in January 1933 to consult with the Argentine Ministry of Finance. in BA.“Buenos Aires.” You may find him interesting. Get him alone and have a quiet talk with him.

Then, Mallon has just sent me a coloured photo, of a coptic tapestryTapestry textile, Egyptian, ca. 400 CE, linen, Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Kansas City, Missouri, inv. no. 35-2. In a letter dated December 2, 1932, Mallon described the tapestry and included a transparency. Byzantine Collection, Paul Mallon file. he has just acquired and is proposing to you, I understand: heads and birds: a big one. I know the piece; it was offered to Kelekian, I think by Kawam (or Kaouam) of Cairo,Khawam Brothers, an antiquities firm in Cairo. just before the Byz. Show opened, together with your Nereid hanging. I told Kelek. that if he didn’t take the Nereid one I’d never speak to him again, but that I didn’t care much whether or not he took the other. It’s a remarkable piece, of course, but I don’t think it would stand up beside the Nereids and Hestia.

Elisina is here, and we have been planning to go to Italy to meet Bill for Xmas and New Year, but things here are so bad that I don’t feel like going away at all. Elisina will, however, and spend a fortnight with Bill. Then I have a Fin. Ctee.On October 25, 1920, the League of Nations had appointed an Advisory Economic and Financial Committee composed of two sections of ten members each and tasked with “the working out of measures of an economic and financial nature which have been submitted for adoption by Members of the League in accordance with the Covenant of the League.” meeting in Jan. We’re all well. I saw one Nelky,Jenő Nelky, a Hungarian diplomat. just from B.A.“Buenos Aires.” and appointed to Vienna, who gave us news of you. Nothing much in the world of archaeology or art. Michael Károlyi’sMichael Károlyi (1875–1955), a Hungarian statesman and a member of one of the wealthiest families of the Hungarian aristocracy. He served as prime minister of Hungary in 1918–1919, and for two months as president of the short-lived Hungarian republic in 1919. things were sold by auction here the other day—nothing one would want.

Bless you, precious Mildred, love to you and Robert.


R. T.

P.S. There is one very important piece of archaeo. news, however: The Xe Cent, lion silk, Byz., from Deutz,The twelfth-century shrine of Saint Heribert, archbishop of Cologne (d. 1021) at Saint Heribert, Cologne-Deutz, had an imperial Byzantine lion silk, ca. 1000, bearing the names of the coemperors Basil II and Constantine VIII, used as the archbishop’s burial shroud. The textile is now in the Erzbishöfliches Diözesanmuseum, Cologne. See William D. Wixom, “Byzantine Art and the Latin West,” in The Glory of Byzantium: Art and Culture of the Middle Byzantine Era AD 843–1261, edited by Helen C. Evans and William D. Wixom (New York: Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1997), 436. has apparently been sold and is on the art-market—they say in Paris. I am trying to trace it. It is a superb object, and if it were for sale I’d strongly advise you to try for it. If I cable “Deutz” and a sum in thousands, please understand dollars, and let me know, any how, what you feel, en principe. It isn’t reproduced in FalkeOtto von Falke, Kunstgeschichte der Seidenweberei (Berlin: Ernst Wasmuth G. M. B. H., 1921). (or elsewhere, as far as I know) and I have no photo., but am trying to get one.

Hayford is in Bangor Me. coping with his father (aged 86)Mellen Chamberlain Peirce (1847–1936) was born in Bangor, Maine, and lived there almost all of his life. Early in his life, he was in the wholesale hardware and grocery business. In 1882, he married Anna Hayford (1856–1928), the daughter of William B. and Laura Hayford. and doing the preliminary draft notes on Vol. III.L’art byzantin. Vol. II is going to be very interesting, more unknown stuff than in Vol. I, and Vol. Ill even better. Thank God for Byz. Art! I think I’d go crazy in this present economic and financial world if I hadn’t that refuge.

A Jew went into the Bourse here raising his hand in the Fascist-Hitlerite salute. His friends say: “Was, du bist Fascist geworden?”“What, you’ve become Fascist?”

“Nein, Ich zeige nur, dass wir bis da im Dreck stehen.”“No. I’m only showing that we stand there in the filth.”

R. T.

Associated Artworks: BZ.1929.1; BZ.1932.1