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Robert Woods Bliss to Royall Tyler, October 21, 1937 [1]

October 21, 1937.

Royall Tyler, Esq.

Finance Ministry,

Budapest, Hungary.

Dear Royall:

Your letters of the 7th and 8th instant reached me day before yesterday, and I hasten to tell you that I am sending a deposit of £600 to your account with Morgan, GrenfellMorgan, Grenfell & Co., an investment bank in London. In 1904, Edward Grenfell was made a partner in the firm, which was formerly known as J. P. Morgan & Co. and which, in 1909, became Morgan, Grenfell and Company. The bank played an important role in the reconstruction of European countries in the 1920s. and Company.

You are a perfect angel to take all the trouble of itemizing what expenses you have incurred in the last four years. The only other comment I have to make is that the textile which Bill has acquired was priced at £35, not £75, as stated in your letter. I have before me the letter from H. Burg,Dr. Hermann Burg, a dealer in London at 32 St. James Street. which you sent in your letter which we received in California, in which it is stated: “The price is £35”. I sent Bill from Santa Barbara a check for that amount. I have also written him, a few days ago, asking him if he would please send me a consular invoice for the Saint Stephen reliquary.BZ.1937.19. My recollection is that in a letter to you treating of other matters, I mentioned this subject and asked if you would be kind enough to request Bill to obtain this paper and send it to me, as it was only possible to have the reliquary delivered to us on depositing a bond that such a document would be produced, and now my customs broker is hounding me about the matter. Ere this, you will have received my letter with the check for the marriage beltBZ.1937.33. and no doubt you have already decided whether to send the money out to BustrosElias (Elie) Bustros, an antiquities dealer in Beirut, Lebanon. or wait until you have received the belt. Although the stock exchange is acting like a fever patient at present, I do not anticipate that there will be any change in the gold value of the dollar, but, of course, one can never tell what the President is going to do from one day to another.

I think the spoon,BZ.1938.32. bowl,BZ.1938.31. and “pincesBZ.1938.33–34. proposed by BustrosElias (Elie) Bustros, an antiquities dealer in Beirut, Lebanon. looked to be very good pieces, and if you approve, I authorize your taking them for us.

Three days after our arrival, we were obliged to run over to New York for two days, where I picked up a virulent, and rather prevalent germ, and have been in bed ever since until yesterday, so that we have only looked very casually at the Americana objects.PC.B.045, PC.B.056, PC.B.100, PC.B.101, PC.B.110, PC.B.160, PC.B.161, PC.B.162, and PC.B.249. I think the gold necklacePC.B.100. is by far the most outstanding piece. They are all good, though there is nothing that equals the fine maskPC.B.054. which I bought some months ago from Brummer, of which a photograph has been sent you, I think. The obsidian pieces are most unusual and almost all of them are fine. At present, our house is full of Chanlers, here for the wedding of Hubert ChanlerHubert Winthrop Chanler (1900–1974), son of Winthrop Astor Chanler (1863–1926) and Margaret “Daisy” Ward Terry Chanler (1862–1952). and Gertrude LaughlinGertrude Laughlin (1914–1999). (daughter of IrwinIrwin Boyle Laughlin (1871–1941), an American diplomat who served as minister to Greece (1924–1926) and ambassador to Spain (1929–1933). and Thérèse LaughlinTherese E. Iselin Laughlin, daughter of New York banker Adrian Iselin. The Laughlins married on September 18, 1912.), day after tomorrow. By next week, I hope to have an opportunity to study the Americana lot with more care and discrimination. Many thanks for all the trouble you & Bill took in acquiring them.

With love from us both,

As ever,



Two people have recently told me that at the close in Paris of the Ex. Des Chefs d’Oeuvres de l’art FrançaisChefs-d’oeuvres de l’art Français (Paris: Palais National des Arts, 1937). there would be exceptional opportunities to obtain fine objects. Do you think there is any basis for such an opinion & if so, is there anything there which we should be interested in & having a try for?