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Mildred Barnes Bliss to Elisina Tyler, November 22, 1926

Stockholm, November 22, 1926.Monday.

Dearest Elisina:

Your note of October 31 filled us with delightful excitement and I am sorry not to have been able to thank you long since, but—!

First I must tell you that the Kalebdjian photographs are most upsetting. Bless you for having them sent. The likeness to your and our “family” features is so close that we must surely wander up this alluring trail in the hope of increasing the family!The paten (BZ.1924.5) and chalice (BZ.1955.18). See letter of October 31, 1926. Robert immediately wrote Kalebdjian and hopes to have news from his man in Egypt. After hearing I shall write you again. These are exciting days and an Ispehan [sic] of good size with turquoise blue groundAlthough the Blisses acquired a number of large Ispahan rugs, there is no evidence that they acquired this rug. is now on its way from Constantinople on approval. Mallon has offered us what looks like from the photographs to be a most remarkable textile. It is a little tunic of blue with gold and yellow inscriptions in Cufic characters which have been deciphered and which seems to date the thing at approximately the year 1000.Although 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 26, 1926; November 30, 1926 [2]; December 21, 1926; January 7, 1927 [3]; and May 3, 1927. Could you see it and send us your opinion? It is the finest specimen of its kind I know of and is incidentally complete. Please tell Royall and Mr. Pierce [sic] that we are sending them photographs of the turban and little Fatimied [sic] fragment, hoping they may care to have them.

Endless thanks for the subscription to “Syria” which you have so kindly ordered for us.See letter of October 31, 1926. We eagerly await its arrival. We also shall send you photographs of our two latest acquisitions, which we hope you will delight in as we do. Pictures this time—a little gem by Alfred StevensThe Blisses acquired Alfred Stevens’s La Jeune Mère (HC.P.1926.06.[O]), from Catherine Vivier-Stevens, Paris, on October 28, 1926. and—an incomparably beautiful Watteau.The Blisses acquired The Embarkation for Cythera (HC.P.1926.22.[O]), thought at the time to be by Jean-Antoine Watteau, from Gösta Stenman, Sweden, on October 27, 1926. As our train from Paris arrived after the one for Stockholm had left, we had an unexpected delay in Berlin and a chance to wallow in the Von [sic] der Weydens,Rogier van der Weyden (ca. 1400–1464), a Flemish painter. His Crucifixion (inv. no. 538A), Portrait of a Woman (inv. no. 545D), Triptych of Our Fair Lady (Miraflores Altarpiece) (inv. no. 534A), Triptych with the Birth of Christ (Bladelin Triptych) (inv. no. 535), Saint Margareth and Saint Apollonia (inv. no. 534C), Triptych with Scenes from the Life of John the Baptist (Saint John Altarpiece) (inv. no. 534B), and Portrait of Charles the Bold (inv. no. 545) are in the Gemäldegalerie, Staatliche Museen, Berlin. van EyckJan van Eyck (Johannes de Eyck) (before ca. 1395–1441), a Flemish painter active in Bruges. His Portrait of Giovanni Arnolfini, Portrait of Baudouin de Lannoy, and Madonna in a Church are in the Gemäldegalerie, Staatliche Museen, Berlin. and that matchless VermeerJohannes (Jan) Vermeer (1632–1675), a Dutch painter who specialized in domestic interior scenes of middle class life. Mildred Barnes Bliss is probably referring to Vermeer’s Woman with a Pearl Necklace (inv. no. 912B) in the Gemäldegalerie, Staatliche Museen, Berlin. Also in that museum collection is Vermeer’s The Glass of Wine (inv. no. 912C). and then plunged into matrimony here.Crown Prince Leopold of Belgium (1901–1983) married Princess Astrid of Sweden (1905–1935) in a civil ceremony of November 4, 1926, at the Hall of State of the Royal Palace in Stockholm. I am writing Edith about the fetes and she will pass on the news to you.

Please ask Royall if he would give a lecture here if invited to do so by the Alliance Francaise?The Alliance française, an international organization that promotes French language and culture. First established in Paris on July 21, 1883, it is headquartered in Paris. Almost any subject, save politics, would be welcome but I think an account of the “Fouilles”“Excavations.” would be particularly so.

Forgive this dictated note and share a message of love which it contains with Royall, Bill—and—Antigny.


As you see this typography bespeaks a novice. Since dictating, word comes from Kalebdjian the lot can be had for £12,000-0-0 plus 20%! and acquéreur’s“Buyer’s.” traveling expenses to Cairo or Aden be reimbursed [when] sale go through—?

Associated Places: Berlin (Germany); Stockholm (Sweden)