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Royall Tyler to Mildred Barnes Bliss, September 22, 1938 [2]


You’ll think I’ve taken leave of my senses, dearest Mildred, when you get mine of the 19th and 22nd inst.See letters of September 19, 1938, and September 22, 1938 [1]. with no reference to yours of the 23rd and 26th Aug.These letters have not been preserved. and Robert’s of Sept. 8th.See letter of September 8, 1938. The trouble is that I’ve been rushing about with mail after me, and have only just had the above-mentioned, which I now answer.

I agree that “Mad”BZ.1938.62. must be Byz. and not Venetian. The prettiness of the treacherous photo (trust Fritz!Royall Tyler’s slang for “Germans.”) misled me, but the moment I saw the original I felt sure—and she’s the best of the whole family known to me.

E’er you get this you’ll have seen the KhawamKhawam Brothers, an antiquities business that was founded in Cairo in 1862 by Sélim Khawam. lotBZ.1938.64–65, BZ.1938.66, and BZ.1938.67. (Khawam is clamoring for payment, by the way).

Again “Mad”: There’s no doubt at all that she and the round Emp.BZ.1937.23. were bought in Venice. F. is trying to find out more details.

About Kelek’s ewer,This molded blue glass ewer has not been identified. the price he asks is an outrage, I know of no other technique than patience. Let him try to get that price, or ½ or ¼ of it, elsewhere. We’ll hear from him again, I think. He was going to have the Coptic potBZ.1939.31. photod again, the first try not having succeeded. I know the Pisan pilaster.This pilaster has not been identified. Not necessary.

No news from Bustros.

Would I could count on being with you for the Inauguration.Probably the opening of the Dumbarton Oaks Research Library and Collection, which took place on November 1, 1940.

You’ll get some news of Elisina from Bill and Mrs. Sessions.In correspondence from Barbara Sessions to Mildred Barnes Bliss, dated September 27, 1938, she writes: “It was not necessary to go Antigny, fortunately, for Mrs. Tyler has been in Paris—strictly incognito—but I saw her several times, for brief but very nice talks. She seems well, in general, but she tires easily and has had a bad fright, which makes her imagine that there are still some noticeable vestiges of the attack. She told me exactly how she feels and what she thinks of her condition—and I am to tell you when I see you (& my own impressions as well). She begs you to forgive her for not writing letters; she still have (sic) many business letters to write and finds it very tiring to use a secretary than to do them herself. She therefore perforce leaves unwritten her letters to friends who will understand—She had the chalice in Paris with her (a case was being made) & a small fragment of painted tile, so that I saw both, and of course was speechless before the chalice.” Dumbarton Oaks History, Sessions correspondence file, 1935–1940. She is better, but it’s going to take a long long time.

About the HirschJacob Hirsch (1874–1955), a German-Swiss numismatist, archaeologist, and antiquities dealer. Honorius:This gold medallion of Honorius has not been identified. I’m inclined to think it better not to branch out into coins at present. Certainly no non-Byz. coins. But the medallion is something apart. Would you care to go up to $2000. for it? If so, please cable me, and I’ll try to get SpinkSpink & Son, London, an auction house that principally deals with coins and paper money. or BaldwinBaldwin’s, a numismatics dealer in London established by A. H. Baldwin (1858–1936) in 1872. who are decent, to bid for you at Lucerne, Oct. 10.Ars Classica Auction 18 (Vicomte de Sartiges Collection), Hôtel Schweizerhof, Lucerne, Switzerland, October 10, 1938. I doubt if you’ll get it for $2000, but if the political news were bad just then, you might.

Segredakis.Manolis (Emmanuel) Segredakis (1891–1948), a Greek-born antiquities dealer in Paris and New York. I know him. He has had a lot of fake Byz. pottery, but also some good things. I can’t see him Sunday, when I shall be only 2–3 hours in Paris, but I’ll try next time.

I doubt if Volbach could lecture in English, unless he has improved greatly of late, or French. In German, he’d be interesting, no doubt.

Perhaps his Albanian will approach me.The meaning of this sentence is not clear. I’d pay no attention to what V. says about the Hirschplatte“Deer relief.” Stags and vase relief, probably marble. See Gerd-H. Zuchold, Der “Klosterhof” des Prinzen Karl von Preussen im Park von Schloss Glienicke in Berlin (Berlin: Gebr. Mann Verlag, 1993), 1:pl. 122 and 2:148, no. 130. etc. and H. F. communicates with me direct whenever he has anything to say, and I suspect V. may just be trying to get his oar in so as to secure a douceur,“A gift for service.” caso más.“Another case.” We can’t use V. now for anything in Germany, because of his having been put out as non-Aryan. F. has good contacts.

The tiny photos. V. sends you, and which I return with his letter, are of objects all of which you already have bigger photos. The upright slabTree of Life and three pairs of animals and birds, third quarter of the twelfth century, marble, Schloss Glienicke, Potsdam-Berlin. See Gerd-H. Zuchold, Der “Klosterhof” des Prinzen Karl von Preussen im Park von Schloss Glienicke in Berlin (Berlin: Gebr. Mann Verlag, 1993), 1:pl. 59b and 2:73, no. 52. to the (spectator’s) Right of the caryatid is one of those I was keen on your getting. I’ve just had a line from F. that he expects to see the Prince again shortly and will again take up the matter of that slab, the stag-slab,Stags and vase relief, probably marble. See Gerd-H. Zuchold, Der “Klosterhof” des Prinzen Karl von Preussen im Park von Schloss Glienicke in Berlin (Berlin: Gebr. Mann Verlag, 1993), 1:pl. 122 and 2:148, no. 130. and the hare-and-vine fragments.Two fragments of a relief, possibly marble, Klosterhof, Schloss Glienicke, Berlin. These are not catalogued in Gerd-H. Zuchold, Der “Klosterhof” des Prinzen Karl von Preussen im Park von Schloss Glienicke in Berlin (Berlin: Gebr. Mann Verlag, 1993). See also letters of June 13, 1938; July 10, 1938; and August 16, 1938.

I’ll try and see if I can get LandauNicolas Landau (1887–1979), an antiquities dealer known as “Le prince des antiquaires.” Born in Varsovia, he studied law in Paris before becoming an antiquities dealer in New York and then in Paris, where he had a business on the rue de Duras. to entrust that ivoryBZ.1939.8. to Mrs. S. I’ve just called up Landau’s no. in Paris. There’s no reply. I’ll send a wire and try and get in touch with him. I consider it (that ivory) highly worth while. If it does go over, mind you examine it under the proper kind of lamp (consult RorimerJames J. Rorimer (1905–1966), an American art historian and curator of medieval art at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. for this), together with a) certainly authentic ivories and b) certainly faked ivories. I don’t know Rosen,David Rosen (1875–1960), a Russian-born art conservator who established the conservation department at the Walters Art Museum in 1931. Rosen served as a conservation adviser to the Philadelphia Museum of Art and the Worcester Art Museum; he collaborated with George L. Stout (1897–1978) at the Fogg Art Museum, Harvard University. but there are few if any people in the world I’d trust in this connexion. Do it yourselves. Remember that if that ivory is right (as I suspect) it is one of the most important in existence.

I may be able to pass by Venice next month, and if so will try to see Loewi’s enamels.See letter of September 8, 1938. I’m a priori suspicious if he won’t send photos. As for his remarks about Campanian sculpture, they sound nonsense to me, and I certainly don’t think you want any more of that school. Quite enough as it is.

More and more strongly do I feel that it would be well to be increasingly difficult and exigeant [sic], and to concentrate on A 1 Byz.: not necessarily very costly things, but things of high quality and significance.

Such a deep comfort it is, precious Mildred, to think of you and Robert waiting so lovingly for the Betbills.The Bliss abbreviation for Bettine Tyler and William Royall Tyler. I’m glad he decided to take her and the brat,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. finally. He’d have had many a sleepless night, I fear, if he hadn’t but I think we shall continue to have terribly anxious days and weeks and months.

Blessings on you

R. T.