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Royall Tyler to Mildred Barnes Bliss, December 18, 1923

Reparation Commission
General Secretariat
131, Champs-Élysées
Paris Dec. 18. 23Tuesday.

Dearest Mildred.

Yesterday I had a little orgy of the sort you recall, at the Cabinet des Médailles,Royall Tyler’s reference to “the little orgy of the sort you recall” is unclear, as Mildred Barnes Bliss’s name does not appear among those who visited the Cabinet des Médailles before 1920. We are grateful to Cécile Morrison, Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, Paris, for her help in determining this fact. and last night I dreamt about you.

Yes, we did have a good time chez Stoclet, and we certainly will go back. I was dismayed to hear of you crossing the North Sea with a fever of 104°. But it occurred to me that if you weren’t so honest it wouldn’t have been a bad way to arrive in a capitalStockholm, Sweden. Robert Woods Bliss became U.S. envoy extraordinary and minister plenipotentiary to Sweden on August 8, 1923. in whose gaieties you do not intend to take a large part. Still, I could have wished that you might have had the profit without having to pay the penalty.

As for books, Benn in London is publishing one, very well illustrated, on Peruvian art.Walter Lehmann, The Art of Old Peru (London: Ernest Benn, 1924). Then there’s a new one by Ebersolt on Byz. “Les arts somptuaires de Byzance” (Leroux, L’ 2. Bonaparte),Jean Ebersolt, Les arts somptuaires de Byzance: Étude sur l’art impérial de Constantinople (Paris: Leroux, 1923). which is very good indeed in its limits. Benn is also going to publish one by Rostovzeff [sic] on Scythian art,This book was not published. In 1925, Michael Rostovtzeff published Skifiia i Bospor: Kriticheskoe obozrenie pamiatnikov literaturnykh, arkheologicheskikh [Scythia and the Bosporus] (Leningrad: Rossiiskaia akademiia istorii material’noi kul’tury, 1925), which was translated into German, as Skythien und der Bosporus, in 1931. by Gallois of the Hague (probably) on Sassanian, and by Roger Fry on Early Mohammedan, and by Francis Birrel [sic] on Coptic. These aren’t out, however.The last three books do not appear to have been published.

If you want hard work running down the ultimate arguments for a theory which I think absurd, get Strzygowski’s 2 vols. on Armenische Baukunst 1919 [sic].Josef Strzygowski, Die Baukunst der Armenier und Europa (Vienna, A. Schroll, 1918). There are hundreds of rather poor but very interesting illustrations. Then there’s a very fine new book, just appearing, by Boinet “La Miniature Carolingienne” (chez Picard). I’ve seen the plates, which are excellent.Amédée Boinet, La miniature carolingienne (Paris: A. Picard, 1913). As this book was published in 1913, it is unclear why Tyler characterizes it in 1923 as a “new book, just appearing.”

This will do for Leserstoff“Reading material.” for some time, I should think.

Elisina has been working hard at Antigny, and we’re all going down there for Xmas. She’s giving a Xmas tree to the children, and a goûterAn afternoon refreshment. to their mothers, while I’m to entertain the men with wine.

Bill arrives, I trust, this evening.

It’s curious how the liturgical year commands the affairs of men. The introit for the day on which the Armistice was signed was “Ego cogito cogitationes pacis . . .”,“I think the thoughts of peace.” and now, in Advent, we are waiting for the Experts’ committee as the world waited, in darkness and tears, for the Coming of the Redeemer.

Much love from Elisina to you and Robert—and also mine.

R. T.

Associated People: Adolphe Stoclet; Elisina Tyler