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Robert Woods Bliss to Royall Tyler, November 26, 1937

November 26, 1937.

Royall Tyler, Esq.,

Finance Ministry

Budapest, Hungary.

Dear Royall:

Your letter of November 17th reached me this morning. Thank you for its enclosures. We, too, were bowled over by the price which No. 460BZ.1947.15. fetched. Evidently, there were two or more persons determined to annex that particular ring, and one of them didn’t care how much he paid for it.

About selling the Gundoberga ringBZ.1937.28. to the B. M.,British Museum. we want to see it first. I am writing Bill by this same mail in this sense, and suggest that he may possibly know of someone who is coming to the United States, and who can bring the ring and the two silks to us.

We are about to purchase from Brummer a bronze statuette,BZ.1937.31. which the little man says comes direct from Constantinople. It is a very unusual piece, and I shall, of course, send you a photograph of it as soon as we have one. Professor MoreyAmerican art historian Charles Rufus Morey (1877–1955) was a professor and chairman of the Department of Art and Archaeology at Princeton University between 1924 and 1945. He was best known for his expertise in medieval art and his Index of Christian Art. says: “I think it is one of the finest pieces I ever saw and quite unique, since I do not know of any bronze of the period that is in the same category and certainly none of the same quality”.

Before this reaches you, you will have heard from Bill of Mildred’s contemplated sailing to be with Ernest and Lucie Schelling.Ernest Henry Schelling (1876–1939), an American pianist, composer, and conductor. He married his first wife, Lucie Howe Draper, in 1905. She died in 1938. Mildred and Robert Woods Bliss were good friends of the Schellings. The original plan to sail on the 20th was abandoned after consulting Ernest by telegraph. We do not know now just what we shall do, but I think it highly probable that one of us will go before long. Lucie’s condition is desperate,Lucie Schelling died on February 3, 1938, of a cerebral hemorrhage. She had suffered a severe heart attack in November 1937. and Ernest himself is in a bad way. They have moved to Lausanne from their lovely place near Geneva, where Ernest was to undergo treatment preparatory to an operation on his eye for detached retina—a very delicate and serious operation, as you doubtless know. Lucie had a most severe heart attack a few days before the operation was to take place, and has been practically unconscious ever since; of course, Ernest postponed his operation. So these two dear friends are going through the deepest kind of water, and it distresses Mildred and me not to be of some help to those two, who have been so close to us for nigh on to fifty years. If we decide that one or the other of us will sail, you will be informed, of course.

I shall be remitting shortly to your credit with Morgan GrenfellMorgan, Grenfell & Co., an investment bank in London. In 1904, Edward Grenfell was made a partner in the firm, which was formerly known as J. P. Morgan & Co. and which, in 1909, became Morgan, Grenfell and Company. The bank played an important role in the reconstruction of European countries in the 1920s. £655, to cover the advances you have made to Bill for the two silksBZ.1937.25 and BZ.1937.29. and the rings,BZ.1937.26, BZ.1937.27, and BZ.1937.28. including commission to Wilson.

Much love from us both.

P. S. When writing the above, I completely forgot to acknowledge your letter of the 10th, which only reached me day before yesterday.

The bill of lading for Saint StephenBZ.1937.19. has been received, and that matter is now all straightened out.

The letter from Metman, in your last communication, confirms your feeling about the objects at the Exposition des Chef-d’Oeuvres de l’Art Français;Chefs-d’oeuvres de l’art français (Paris: Palais National des Arts, 1937). just the way I thought it would turn out.

About the manuscriptsSee letter of November 10, 1937. offered you by Olschki,Leo Samuel Olschki (1861–1940), a Jewish Pole born in the Polish territory of East Prussia who founded a printing house and dealt in rare books in Florence. The firm opened a branch in Rome in 1914. we shall be guided by you in this matter. We do want to have one or two tip-top Byzantine MSS, but from what you write, the one offered by Olschki is not of the best style, and I think we can bide our time.

Inasmuch as Olschki wrote you, I am returning the letter, so that you may answer him, thinking that you may prefer to do this. Moreover, I had rather have him submit things to you, instead of writing us direct, which he might be tempted to, if I were to write him now. Besides, it would save time to have matters going though you, instead of having matters come here first, and then going back to you.


P.P.S. Since dictating the above this morning, the price sheet of the Guilhou saleCatalogue of the Superb Collection of Rings Formed by the Late Monseiur E. Guilhou, of Paris, Comprising Rings of the Classical Period, Including Egyptian, Phoenician, Greek, Etruscan and Roman Rings, Rings of the Dark Ages, the Middle Ages, the Renaissance and Modern Times . . . Which will be Sold by Auction . . . on Tuesday, the 9th of November 1937, and Three Following Days (London: Sotheby and Co, 1937). See also Seymour de Ricci, Catalogue of a Collection of Ancient Rings Formed by the Late E. Guilhou (Paris, 1912). has arrived. HirschJacob Hirsch (1874–1955), a German-Swiss numismatist, archaeologist, and antiquities dealer. bought 460;BZ.1947.15. perhaps he will bring it over & offer it to us! He also annexed 455 & one J. HuntJ. Hunt has not been identified. took 473.