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Royall Tyler to Mildred Barnes Bliss, March 25, 1930

29. Rue d’Astorg
F Anjou 16–88

Dearest Mildred,

I have just returned from London and found your letter dated March 1st from Santa Barbara, enclosing the photographs of the Boucher tapestries.For the Boucher tapestries, see letter of January 26, 1930. I expect it will be possible to see the Gothic onesSee letters of January 26, 1930, and February 10, 1930. here when you come, if you desire to do so.See letter of March 1, 1930: “The [photographs of the] Gothic ones we are keeping and shall hope perhaps to see them in France.

I am still awaiting the illustrated catalogue of the Seligmann collection,Paul Clemen, Otto von Falke, and Georg Swarzenski, Die Sammlung Dr. Leopold Seligmann, Köln (Berlin: Hermann Ball–Paul Graupe, 1930). about which I have already written to you. There appear to be some very good things in it. I have ordered a catalogue to be sent to you to New York, so that you may turn the matter over in your mind on your way to Europe. The sale takes place on April 28th and 29th, in Berlin.

A thousand thanks for bringing over the coptic tapestry. Indeed we do want it for the Byzantine show.

I have never had the pleasure of meeting Rowland S. Read,Rowland S. Read, a textile collector. but of course I have heard a great deal about him, and, I shall be interested to make his acquaintance. The Victoria and Albert Museum found it impossible to do any business with him at all, and I imagine that in order to get anything out of him it would be necessary to adopt the technique practised by dealers on each other: i.e. watch him carefully so as to see when he is pressed for money. His suggestion that ‘a direct deal rather than through the trade, would result to our mutual advantage’, calls up all sorts of questions. Speaking of the little white piece of figured silk,BZ.1934.6, acquired in August 1934 from Rowland S. Read. I went to Indjoudjian the other day, and saw there another fragmentBZ.1930.1, acquired in July 1930 from Indjoudjian Frères. of the same piece of stuff, not in quite as good preservation as yours, but otherwise exactly the same. Indjoudjian, who knew how much you had paid Vignier for yours, said he would be prepared to sell his for about half that price. I hardly think you would want his, as the one you possess is certainly better. Indjoudjian says he did not get his through Rowland S. Read, but direct from Persia.

I have been unable to find out anything about the prospectus of a sale including Walter Burns’sWalter Spencer Morgan Burns (1891–1929), British art collector and financier, was a nephew of J. Pierpont Morgan and a partner in his firm, J. P. Morgan & Co., as of December 31, 1897. enamel, nor have I ever seen the object, which is in the country, but Eric Maclagan has seen it and says it is of the first order. I remember your delight in Stoclet’s little roundel.See letter of March 1, 1930. After seeing it again a few months ago, I feel quite sure that it is not Byzantine but Western. Much as I like it, I do not think it compares with the finest Byzantine enamels. However, it is very unlikely that anything resembling it will turn up on the market: I have never seen one for sale, and indeed Stoclet’s three pieces are unlike anything I know anywhere. By the way, he is lending them to our Exhibition at the Burlington Fine Arts Club.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.

I fear I may have confused you about the dates of the Dark Ages Exhibition and the Byzantine Exhibition. The Dark Ages Exhibition takes place at the Burlington Fine Arts Club this spring, opening in May. It is planned to hold the Byzantine Exhibition at the Arts Décoratifs next year, 1931, in May and June.

When you are in London, do ask EumorfopoulosGeorge Aristides Eumorfopoulos (1864–1939), a Greek merchant and art collector of mainly Chinese, but also medieval, art. whether Fettich has arrived with the things to be lent by Hungary. He is coming about the middle of April, and if he gets to London before you leave, you would have an opportunity of seeing the Hungarian objects, which are superb. I expect that some of the other things for our show will already be at the Burlington Fine Arts Club by that time.

My movements are very uncertain. I have got to go to Austria and Budapest in the near future, but exactly when I go depends on the progress of negociations now pending. I fear I may not be able to get over to London while you are there, but I shall certainly be in Paris when you are. Bill will also be here. He is getting on very well indeed, and Elisina is now quite well too.

The antiquities market is very bad here, and now would be a favourable time to buy—but there isn’t much one wants, except that pistache & manganese silver stuff at Indjoudjian’s. I’d go for that.

Longing to see you, dearest Mildred.

Love from us both to you two.

R. T.

Associated Artworks: BZ.1929.1; BZ.1930.1; BZ.1934.6; BZ.1936.20