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Royall Tyler to Mildred Barnes Bliss, December 21, 1936

Hôtel de Crillon

Place de la Concorde



I’ve just returned from London, dearest Mildred, where I saw my Grandson.Royall Tyler (b. 1936), the first child of Bettine Tyler and William Royall Tyler, was born in London. After earning a BA in Far Eastern Languages from Harvard University and a PhD in Japanese literature from Columbia University, he became a scholar and translator of Japanese literature. He presently lives in Australia in New South Wales. Women, versed in babies, tell me with emphasis that he is everything a baby should be. His name is Royall.

Christmas Carols resound in the London streets:

‘Ark the ‘erald aingels sing
Mrs. Simpson’sWallis Simpson, Duchess of Windsor (1896–1986), an American socialite whose third husband, Prince Edward, Duke of Windsor (formerly King Edward VIII) abdicated his throne to marry her. stole our king.King Edward VIII (Duke of Windsor) (1894–1972), king of the United Kingdom.

I saw a picture in London, which belongs half and half to Stora and to Jean Seligmann:Jean Seligmann (d. 1940), the cousin of Germain Seligmann, the head of Arnold Seligmann & Cie. a MemlingHans Memling (ca. 1430–1494), a German-born painter who worked in Flanders. adoration—or rather a rest on the flight to Egypt.The Flight into Egypt, formerly attributed to Hans Memling, purchased by William Burrell, Glasgow, from Arnold Seligmann & Cie on December 29, 1936. I’ve asked Stora to send you a photo. of it, together with references to Friedlander’sMax Jakob Friedländer (1867–1958), a German curator and art historian who specialized in Early Netherlandish painting. mentions of it. The donkey has been heavily repainted, but the rest is in good condition—and very lovely: the white, slightly bluish, of the Virgin’s robe, the landscape and the flowery banks of the rill in which Joseph is reflected as he dips his copper vessel in the water. Sending you this photo. is an act of self abasement proper to the days of humility and repentance before Xmas—but I can’t do so without uttering the hope that you won’t buy anything at present that might interfere with your making a mighty attempt, if and when the time comes, on the Limburg stavrothek.Reliquary of the True Cross (Staurotheke), Byzantine, ca. 960, gold, gems, and enamel, Cathedral Museum, Limburg an der Lahn. I about think I could die happy if you got that.

Very confidentially, please: SpinkSpink & Son, London, an auction house that principally deals with coins and paper money. has, in London, two large Enamels, cloisonné on gold: JustinianJustinian I (ca. 482–565), the Byzantine emperor from 527 to 565. (after the St. Apollinare NuovoBasilica of Sant’ Apollinare Nuovo, a church in Ravenna erected by the Ostrogoth king Theodoric as his palace chapel during the first quarter of the sixth century. bust,Sixth-century mosaic bust portrait of Justinian I at the basilica of Sant’ Apollinare Nuovo. last state but one) and TheodoraTheodora I (ca. 500–548), a Byzantine empress and the wife of Emperor Justinian I. (St. VitaleBasilica of San Vitale, a church in Ravenna begun in 526. At the foot of the apse side walls are two mosaic panels depicting Justinian and Theodora that were executed in 547.), from the Trivulzio Coll.The Trivulzio Collection, a large collection of books, manuscripts, and artworks amassed by the princely Milanese Trivulzio family that was already prominent in the twelfth century. The collection is now partly dispersed and much is in the Civiche Raccolte d’Arte Applicata, Castello Sforzesco, Milan. TrivulzioLuigi Alberico Trivulzio (1868–1938), Prince of Musocco and Marchese of Sesto Ulteriano. Trivulzio was responsible for the sale of much of his family’s art collection. once told me he had some marvellous enamels, but there was always a reason why he couldn’t show them to me. Well, they’re certainly wrong: made, I should guess, in Italy about the middle of the XIX Cent. I beg you not to mention this to anyone but Robert.

London is booming, and greatly relieved to have got it over and done with. Things here (in France) are still very obscure and full of uncertainty, but there is a decided improvement in production: many branches of industry are 100% employed. The dark points are the budget, and the unfathomable way strikes break out, in obedience to an unseen authority. At present they only affect a tiny percentage of industry, however.

Best wishes and fondest love to you both for 1937.


R. T.

I’m returning to Pest for Xmas.

P. S. I must add a word to say that I saw EumoGeorge Eumorfopoulos. in London, looking ten years younger than he did when we last saw him, and the Gays here: Walter much the same, a little weaker, but perfectly lucid. Bill is very well indeed and so is Betsy.

Associated Things: M. & R. Stora, Paris