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Royall Tyler to Mildred Barnes Bliss, March 11, 1913

8, Rue de la Barouillère

Paris. VI.

11 March 1913.Tuesday.

Dear Mildred.

I can’t wait any longer to tell you that the chaliceBZ.1955.18. is here. I waited, sweating great drops of blood, in Brummer’s back shop yesterday afternoon, while Stoclet made him an offer for the Egyptian relief, the chalice, and most of the other good things in the shop. Brummer said, I think quite truthfully, that the offer was much too low, considering that it cleared him out of pretty nearly everything fine in his shop. Stoclet made another offer, also rejected. Stoclet then said he was going back to Brussels, and would think the matter over and wire again. Brummer said he must decide at once or he would not undertake not to sell in the meantime. Stoclet thought prudent to disregard this, and five minutes after he’d turned his back, I was running home, toreando los automobiles por la calle“Fighting the automobiles in the street.” with la santísima“The blessed thing.” under my arm. I have got to find 6,500 francsEqual to approximately $1,132.00 in 1913 and approximately $24,037.00 in 2009. The final purchase price was 28,000 francs, part or all of which was funded by a loan to the Tyler from the Blisses; see letters of March 31, 1913, and April 1, 1913. now, and selling in a hurry is a bore—however, the joy of having the thing leaves no room for care—I don’t care what I sell.

Prichard, the only man alive who really knows and feels Byzantine art, and I spent most of last night over the chalice. He says it is a crown of glory, the finest thing out of S. Mark’s etc. and tears came to his eyes when the inscription burst upon him. It runs ΤΑ ΣΑ ΕΚ ΤΩΝ ΣΩΝ ΣΟΙ ΠΡΟΣ ΦΕΡΩΜΕΝ ΚΕ (abbrev. For ΚΥΡΙΕ) otherwise: “Those things that are thine, out of thy possessions, to thee we offer, Oh Lord!”

Prichard says it is the XI cent.—the greatest moment of Byzantine art. Not a word to a soul except Robert.

Yours sincerely

Royall Tyler

Associated Places: Paris (France)
Associated Artworks: BZ.1955.18