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Royall Tyler to Mildred Barnes Bliss, December 28, 1923

Paris 28.XII.23Friday.

Dearest Mildred,

The Stockholm catalogue has just come, and I’m enchanted to have it. I wish I could read the text, but the illustrations are excellent. That mitre!The catalogue that Tyler refers to is unidentified but may be Agnes Branting, Textil skrud i svenska kyrkor från äldre tid till 1900 (Stockholm: Svenska krylans diakonistyrelses bökforlag, 1920), an overview of church textiles in Sweden from “ancient times” until 1900. The mitre Tyler refers to may be a bishop’s mitre in the Cathedral Museum, Uppsala, which was purchased in Antwerp in 1561 for use by Archbishop Laurentius Petri, the first Lutheran Archbishop in Sweden, at the coronation of Erik XIV. See Silk Road Seattle, “The Cathedral Museum, Uppsala, Sweden.”

I got down to Antigny for Xmas, but was lugged back here yesterday. I hope to escape again tomorrow for the week-end. Elisina gave a Xmas tree to the children of the village, and the entire population came. They are perfect dears, and know how to behave. The men appreciated the wine I offered them as an alternative to tea and chocolate (provided for the fair sex). Eighty of them drank 100 bottles. It was a pendaison de crémaillère“Housewarming.” The “pendaison de crémaillère” was a medieval tradition where, after building a house, it was customary to prepare a meal for friends, family, and those involved in the work. and Xmas tree combined. Bill earned golden opinions when, in his efforts to keep glasses replenished, he fell backwards over a bench and saved the bottle he was holding in his hand by neatly dropping on his head, which appears to be no worse for it.

Xmas day was perfect. Freezing hard in the shade and such a sun that we went about coatless and might comfortably have lunched out of doors.

Many messages and much love.

R. T.