You are here:Home/Resources/ Bliss-Tyler Correspondence/ Search the Letters/ Royall Tyler to Robert Woods Bliss, October 24, 1927 [2]
Royall Tyler to Robert Woods Bliss, October 24, 1927 [2]

Ministry of Finance,

Dear Robert,

There is a dealerThe Istanbul dealer is later identified as Andronikos, about whom little is known. Hayford Peirce acquired Byzantine coins from him, and in a letter of April 29, 1928, Royall Tyler describes him as being “over 80.” See also letter of October 23, 1929. in Constantinople who has a little XI cent. Byz. gold enamelled cross,Probably an enameled reliquary cross acquired by Adolph Stoclet and now in the British Museum (1965.0604.1). Made of cloisonné enamel and gold, the reliquary cross is decorated with a standing figure of the Virgin wearing a chiton and maphorion, and she is flanked by busts of St. Basil and St. Gregory Thaumaturgus. A gold chain is connected to the pendant. with its original gold chain, very beautiful but tiny, only about 2 1/2 in. high, and the enamelled plaque missing on one side. He also has a little gold enamelled jewelThere is no similar Byzantine enamel jewel in the 1956 catalogue of the Stoclet collection (Jules Pierre van Goidsenhoven, Adolphe Stoclet Collection 1 [Brussels: Published under the direction of J. P. van Goidsenhoven, 1956]) nor in the Sotheby’s auction catalogue of the Stoclet collection (Catalogue of Medieval Works of Art . . . from the Collection of the Late Adolphe Stoclet [London: Sotheby, 1965]). Although this “jewel” has not been identified, it resembles in Royall Tyler's description a Byzantine double-sided pendant icon with the Virgin and Christ Pantokrator, gold and cloisonné enamel, ca. 1100, with a height of 1 5/16 in. (3.3 cm), acquired by the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, in 1994 from Artemis Fine Arts Limited. of more

(Enamelled on both sides with a bust of the Virgin and a bust of Our Lord)

or less this shape, also very beautiful in style, but perfectly preserved.In a later letter of October 23, 1929, Royall Tyler says of the Andronikos pieces:Stoclet has them, and he paid £7500 for them: the cross, the little jewel, a smaller jewel and a ring.” I’m trying to get photos, of both objects to send to you. The dealer wildly talks about £5000 for the two, but I shouldn’t wonder if he climbed down a long way. If you could get the two for £1000 I think you’d like to have them. They are most attractive and exceedingly rare. I’m also on the trail of a very fine and interesting silver and nielloed bronze buckle,This belt buckle has not been identified. See also letter of January 5, 1928. the finest I’ve ever seen. Barbarian of the 5th cent. The MuseumThe Hungarian National Museum (Magyar Nemzeti Múzeum), Budapest. here want to buy it for an absurdly low price. I’m under contract not to make an offer for it as long as the Museum people think there is a chance that the dealer will accept their offer. But they promise that they won’t let the dealer go off with it without giving me a chance to get it—for perhaps £80, or at most £100. I think you’d be very glad to have it. It really is a beauty.

I think that, if you want me to make a purchase or two for you, it would be well to advance me a sum of say £200 or so—in any case not more than £500—so that I may be able to jump if necessary. It isn’t easy for me to make advances myself, and you are so far away that any opportunity is likely to be lost before I can get an answer from you. Of course I’d never let you in for buying any object costing more than £100 or so. If you agree, you might make the transfer at once to my ac/ at Brown Shipley’s, 123 Pall Mall, London.Brown, Shipley and Company, merchant bankers, originated with the establishment of William Brown and Company, merchants and shippers, in Liverpool in 1810. Joseph Shipley became a partner in 1825, and the company changed its name to Brown, Shipley and Company in 1837. Although originally formed to act as agents for the American business interests of Alexander Brown (William Brown’s father), the company soon became involved in the exchange and credit business. In April 1900, the company opened an office at 123 Pall Mall to deal primarily with letters of credit for American travelers. The decline in the issue of letters of credit due to the growth in the use of travelers cheques led to the closure of the branch in 1955.

Please let me know whether, en principe,“In principle.” you’d like to have the enamels. I’ll send photos if and as soon as I can get them.

Much love

R. T.

Associated People: Adolphe Stoclet; Hayford Peirce