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Royall Tyler to Robert Woods Bliss, May 13, 1937

Finance Ministry


13th May 1937.

Dear Robert,

I have just had a letter from our friend, who has had further conversations with F., on his side, has been in touch with the Prince and his man of affairs,Possibly the Baron Friedrich “FritzCerrini de Montevardi (1895–1985), the private secretary and life-companion of Friedrich Leopold. and is assured that they are willing to sell through him. He has been asked where the objects would go, and has replied that he was acting for a friend in Italy. He thinks it essential to avoid any mention of the U.S.A. The Prince is particularly anxious that there should be no question of any of his objects appearing on the market. Our friend now asks me to urge you, by cable, to make a definite offer for the Emperor roundel:BZ.1937.23. either that alone or together with some of the other objects of which you have had photographs. I am answering our friend that I have cabled you on the matter once already, and that there does not seem to be any sufficient reason for cabling again, but that I have written to you on his suggestions.

Our friend has now heard from F. about other objects belonging to the Prince: ivories and enamels, it appears, and is thinking of taking the journey to see them. He believes that if one piece of business were concluded with the Prince, it would be easier to get at the other things, and he seems to think that the other things may contain surprises. I am encouraging him to take the journey.

Now, as to the Emperor roundel and other objects of which you have photos.Photographs of the objects in Prince Leopold’s collection are retained in the Byzantine Collection, Royall Tyler correspondence file. I think the time has now come when, if you are interested in the Emperor roundel, you should make an offer: not necessarily the figure I mention in my cable of the 26th April; you may prefer to make a lower offer. But-in the-circumstances I don’t think there is anything to be gained by waiting any longer. If you are not interested, I should be grateful if you would let me have word to that effect.

In the meantime, I have told our friend that F. had better show what he can do by obtaining GothaSee 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. at a reasonable price, and I shall continue to insist on this point. . . .

Much love,


R. T.

Associated Places: Budapest (Hungary)
Associated Artworks: BZ.1937.23