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Elisina Tyler to Mildred Barnes and Robert Woods Bliss, December 21, 1926

Hotel MarceauNow the Hôtel Le Belmont.
5, rue Bassano
December 21st 1926Tuesday.

Dearest Mildred and Robert,

I wish you a very very happy Christmas, and a most happy New Year. Here I am just getting over a nasty grippe which has kept me a fortnight in bed in this hotel. My left lung was “touché”,“Affected.” and is still something of a nuisance. So dear PeterRoyall Tyler was called Peter by his friends. The Blisses, however, seem never to have addressed him by this name. has decided that I must absolutely go with the Tyler men on their trip,The Tylers and Hayford Peirce traveled to Egypt to inspect the silver treasure; see letter of December 14, 1926. as he would worry very much if I were down at Antigny in the Burgundian winter cold.

I regret being an unexpected burden, but I am so delighted at the prospect of seeing a lovely country, and being near the heart of the world’s movements while Royall has his ear on the patient’s bosom. I do hope with all my heart that the treasure is as fine as it looks, and that it will go where all the finest things the world has to offer are one.

I went to see the little blue coatAlthough in a later letter of March 14, 1931, Royall Tyler states that this textile is in the Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C., it is a tunic inscribed with the name of the Buyid Bahāʾ-al-dawla, ca. 1000 CE, from the Naqqāraḵāna of Ray, which is now in the Textile Museum, Washington, D.C., acc. no. 3.116. See Arthur Upham Pope, A Survey of Persian Art, from Prehistoric Times to the Present (London: Oxford University Press, 1938–1939), 3:2009, 2031, no. 12. See also letters of November 22, 1926; November 26, 1926; November 30, 1926 [2]; January 7, 1927 [3]; and May 3, 1927. the very day I was struck down. It is a lovely vigorous blue, of the sapphire tone—or seemed so by night,—neither light nor dark, infinitely deep. The inscription is not on the breast, but on a sort of flat sailor collar. The front is open, bordered with a narrow yellow band, and closed by three small buttons, near the neck, and about two inches apart. The middle one is yellow, the top and bottom ones blue. They are made of stuff tied into a tiny puff-ball. The buttonholes are of the kind known as “bordées”—edged with a tiny strip of stuff on the cross. All the bands and inscriptions are a beautiful greenish yellow.

I thought the piece exceedingly interesting, but not lofty, like your turban.The Blisses’ architect, Lawrence Grant White, had the same impression. While in France, he wrote Robert Woods Bliss in Washington on June 15, 1927: “. . . and the Turkish blue silk jacket (Mallon) that was found with your turban is of course unique, but more rare than beautiful. . . .” Were they the same price I should choose the turban for beauty. I thought Mallon’s price of £4000Approximately $19,000 in December 1926. preposterous. It is interesting to have a dated piece, but once you know the date it seems to me that the secret is out, and all you need consider is the appeal to the eyes. Well, in my opinion, though this is a first-class piece, it is not a soul-shaking masterpiece.

Bill has arrived, and he is quite wonderful. He has done me a beautiful pen-and-ink sketch of Antigny. He is so much taller, and so wise and thoughtful. How I wish you could see him!

My very very best love to Robert, and to you, dearest Mildred, my most loving messages and wishes.

Yours ever,

I go to Antigny to-day till the 27th; then on the 27th to Trieste, to await the 31st!

Associated Things: Kaper Koraon Silver Treasure
Associated Artworks: BZ.1926.2