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Royall Tyler to Mildred Barnes Bliss, April 25, 1930

29, rue d’Astorg
F Anjou 16–88

Dearest Mildred,

I shall not be in London while you’re there, alas, but hope to be in Paris when you arrive. Thank God, I hear from Mlle MalyeThérèse Malye (1886–1951), Mildred Barnes Bliss’s Parisian secretary. that you are going to be here 6 weeks. I need at least that. Badly.

I’ve got urgent business in Vienna from 30 April to 3 May. After that I have to go to Budapest, and from there I hope to return straight here, arriving May 9th.

I’m leaving tomorrow 26th for Berlin, so as to see the Seligmann things before the sale (28th and 29th).Paul Clemen, Otto von Falke, and Georg Swarzenski, Die Sammlung Dr. Leopold Seligmann, Köln (Berlin: Hermann Ball–Paul Graupe, 1930). I’ll also try to see the FigdorAlbert Figdor (1843–1927), a Viennese banker and collector. coll., which is to be sold in Berlin June 11th and following.Figdor Collection sale, Paul Cassirer Gallery, Berlin, September 29–30, 1930.

I’ve seen the Figdor catalogue,Max J. Friedländer, Die Sammlung Dr. Albert Figdor, Wien (Berlin: Cassirer, 1930). which reminded me that there are superb Gothic tapestries and oriental carpets. I used to know old Fig before the war in Vienna. There is, in particular, one N. French tapestry, XVe, which is a marvel. I don’t know what you’ll say when you see even the reproduction. And what will it fetch?

As for the Seligmann coll., I wired you on Apr. 19Actually telegram of April 21, 1930. asking if you wanted me to try for certain lots—hoping you would have received the catalogue. But I fear the catalogue didn’t reach you in N. Y. They were very late getting it out. I ordered it to be sent you direct from Berlin as soon as it appeared.

As you only land the day the sale starts, I shall have to make up my mind by myself whether or not to try for anything for you—after I have seen the things themselves. They look very good indeed on the reproductions. I’ll keep within the limits of what I’ve got in hand. My hope is that, things being so slack in business, the prices may be low. As far as I can make out, very few people are going from here—but, alas, Daguerre’s jackal plans to be there, blast him!

I shall be at the Esplanade, Berlin. Then, Apr. 30 to May 3, Hot. Sacher, Vienna, and May 4 to May 7, Hot. Hungaria, Bpest.

Bill looks flourishing, and the doctors say he can now lead a normal life. But they advise against the Oxford climate next winter. This puts off his going up to Oxford till Oct. ‘31. However, we hope he will be allowed to matriculate now, without going into residence, and take his first public exam. this June, so as to be able to start reading for final schools when he does go up. If the BalliolBalliol College was founded in 1263 as one of the constituent colleges of the University of Oxford. authorities decide that he can matriculate now, he’ll go over to England on the 29th inst., and will try to see you. Anyway, he’ll be here when you come. He’s pining to see you.

If you can manage it, let John Hugh Smith,Arnold John Hugh Smith (1881–1964), an American expatriate banker, art collector, Francophile, and friend of Henry James and Edith Wharton. He was the director of Hambros Bank in London. His collecting interests were similar to those of Royall Tyler. He gave a fragment of a French Gothic sandstone Crucifixion (M.10-1955) to the Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge, in 1955 and Bronze Age and eighteenth-century weapons in 1956. After his death, the Fitzwilliam Museum received the Hugh Smith Bequest, which included ancient Egyptian carved stone vessels (E.1-5.1964), fourteenth-century pottery and alabaster Persian bowls and sculptures, two French Romanesque limestone capitals (M.1 and 2-1964), a late twelfth-century marble sculpture of a man’s head (ascribed to the Master of Cabestany; M.3-1964), a head of the Bodhisattva Avolkitesvara, and paintings and sculptures by Rubens, Gericault, Hogarth, Pissarro, Renoir, and Matisse. 74 Portland Place, W.1, come and see you while you’re in London. He’s a great dear, one of the nicest people in the world. Also, he’s on the Committee of (a) the Nat. Art Coll. FundThe National Art Collection Fund was established in 1903 to assist British museums in acquiring art. (b) the great Persian Exhib. planned for next year,The International Exhibition of Persian Art, Royal Academy of Arts, Burlington House, London, January 7–February 28, 1931. See Persian Art: An Illustrated Souvenir of the Exhibition of Persian Art at Burlington House, London, 1931 (London: Hudson and Kearns, 1931), (c) our Burl. ‘Dark Ages’ show.Art in the Dark Ages in Europe (circa 400–1000 AD), an exhibition at the Burlington Fine Arts Club, London, in 1930. See Reginald A. Smith, “Art in the Dark Ages,” The Burlington Magazine for Connoisseurs 57, no. 328 (July 1930): 3–10. Also, he’s on the Board of Hambros.Hambros Bank, a British bank based in London. The Hambros Bank specialized in Anglo-Scandinavian business, with expertise in trade finance and investment banking, and was the sole banker to the Scandinavian kingdoms for many years. The bank was sold in 1998.

Mind you see the Burl. Club show. Fettich may still be there; anyway, the Hungarian things are. EumorfopoulosGeorge Aristides Eumorfopoulos (1864–1939), a Greek merchant and art collector of mainly Chinese, but also medieval, art. will tell you if Fettich is still in London.

I can hardly bear to wait till May 10th, when Mlle MalyeThérèse Malye (1886–1951), Mildred Barnes Bliss’s Parisian secretary. says you’ll be here.

Bless you.
R. T.

I’ve not succeeded yet in connecting with Rowland Read,Rowland S. Read, a textile collector. but have ascertained that he’s still here.

Associated Things: Henri Daguerre, Paris