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Robert Woods Bliss to Royall Tyler, September 25, 1934 [2]

September 25th, 1934

Dear Royall,

When I told Mildred this morning that I was going to dictate a line to you in acknowledgment of your letter of the 13th of this month, she charged me to thank you for your letter to her of the 5th, so I send our double thanks for the trouble you took to call on Gourko to see the lamp.This lamp has not been identified. In a letter to Robert Woods Bliss dated August 7, 1934, Dimitri de Gourko describes the Byzantine lamp as bronze, fifth century, and recently found in Constantinople near the Hippodrome. The price asked was 25,000 francs. Byzantine Collection, D. de Gourko correspondence file.

What you wrote about that object confirms our feelings about it that it is a good piece of its kind, but totally unnecessary to acquire for our needs.

We received the photograph from Stora of the Consular diptych,BZ.1935.4.a–b. and it looks to be really a fine thing and I can believe from what you say that it must have a lovely patina. Both Mildred and I feel, however, that we can live without it, and that it is better to reserve ourselves for something of greater importance that may possibly appear in the market as the times grow worse throughout the world—though there is always the fear, that as time goes on we may not have the wherewithal to purchase anything.

I have written Stora that we, reluctantly, are obliged to renounce acquiring this fine object.

We were sorry to hear that Hayford’s old father had called him home, but trust that your desire to see him will make it possible for him to go to Pesth later on.

Thank you for sending back the photograph of the Néréides fragment.BZ.1934.2. We have not yet received it (that is, the fragment), but I feel quite sure in comparing the photograph with the pieceBZ.1932.1. we have that the Mallon one is really a part of it. We are keyed up to make the confrontation as soon as it appears, and I will let you know how it turns out.

In referring to Gourko a moment ago I forgot to add that we have sent word to him that we will take the ring.BZ.1934.3. It is my recollection that he showed it to me when I was in Paris last September, but the price then asked—more than three times what he is now accepting—put it out of consideration.

What you writeSee letter of September 13, 1934. about the way in which the diptychBZ.1935.4.a–b. was brought to Paris is rather amusing, and perhaps may be the channel through which other more important objects may filter.

Bill and Betsy left us yesterday after a week which we enjoyed thoroughly. Both Mildred and I found her perfectly charming, intelligent and very pretty, and we thoroughly approve Bill’s choice. They were two very happy children, and it was a joy to have them here.

I shall hope to write you again soon regarding the Néréides “confrontation”.The two pieces, BZ.1932.1 and BZ.1934.2, are from the same textile.

With our united love,

Yours as ever,


Associated Things: M. & R. Stora, Paris
Associated Artworks: BZ.1932.1; BZ.1934.2; BZ.1934.3; BZ.1935.4.a-b