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Mildred Barnes Bliss to Royall Tyler, March 29, 1929 [2]

3101 R Street
Washington, D.C.
March 29, 1929
Royall Tyler
, Esquire
Hambro’s Bank, Ltd.
41 Bishop’s Gate [sic]
London, E.C.2

Dearest Royall:

WiIl you cable us what you think of these? The Sassanian bust,This Sasanian bust was described as a fourteen-inch-high bronze bust of a Sasanian king, probably Shahpour I. The Blisses acquired the piece on May 4, 1929, but returned it to Joseph Brummer by June 1930. Joseph Brummer to Mildred Barnes Bliss, February 1, 1929, Byzantine Collection files, Brummer Gallery 1914–1938. See also letters of March 11, 1929; March 27, 1929; and April 11, 1929. of which I wrote, is very interesting but far from beautiful. The ‘apostle’s head’,This sculpted head has not been identified. In correspondence of Joseph Brummer to Mildred Barnes Bliss, March 18, 1929, this sculpture is described as: “Life size head in marble representing an Apostle. Early Christian period $6,200.” Byzantine Collection files, Brummer Gallery 1914–1938. according to Brummer, is late but fine. Our little friend—modest formerly—is now ‘echt’“Truly.” American in prices.

We are reconciled not to see the Berlin Exhibition,Probably “Ausstellung chinesischer Kunst,” at the Gesellschaft für Ostasiatische Kunst and the Preußischen Akademie der Künste, Berlin, January 12 to April 2, 1929. though we regret it. From all accounts, of which a good many have been received by now, it isn’t particularly instructive, though has many excellent pieces already known.

We have just visited here the collection of textiles owned by Mr. George Myers,George Hewitt Myers (1875–1957), an American forester, collector, and philanthropist who founded the Textile Museum in Washington, D.C., in 1925 with a collection of 275 rugs and 60 related textiles. Myers collected actively for the museum until his death in 1957, at which time the collection had grown to encompass the textile arts of Africa, Asia, and Latin America. who has excellent rugs, including four fragments of one of the most noble Ispahans I have seen, and a Coptic panel, about 5’ x 3’6, which is of great interest, beauty and, I imagine, rarity.This textile has not been identified.

The best thing that has happened to us in some time has been meeting Dr. and Mrs. Woolley of the Ur excavations.C. Leonard Woolley (1880–1960), a British archaeologist who excavated between 1922 and 1934 at the Sumerian city of Ur, an ancient tell located in what is today southern Iraq. The excavation was funded by the British Museum and the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology. The objects at the Pennsylvania MuseumAmong the famous objects from the Ur excavations at the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology are the Ram-Caught-in-the-Thicket, ca. 2650–2550 BCE, gold, silver, lapis lazuli, copper, shell, red limestone, and bitumen, 42.5 cm high, found in the “Great Death Pit” at Ur (30-12-702); and Lady Puabi’s jewelry (i.e., the headdress and earrings of the Lady Puabi, ca. 2650–2550 BCE, gold, lapis lazuli, and carnelian, 36 cm (height of comb), 2.7 cm (diameter of hair rings), and 11 cm (diameter of earrings) (B16992A, B17711A, B17712A, and B17708-10). will be shown us before we sail, and of course by now you have seen the ones at the British Museum. To us it is all new and of great excitement. The golden head of a bullGreat Lyre from the “King's Grave,” ca. 2650–2550 BCE, gold, silver, lapis lazuli, shell, bitumen, and wood, 35.6 cm (height of head) and 33 cm (height of plaque). and the fluted urnTumbler from the “King’s Grave,” ca. 2650–2550 BCE, silver and copper alloy electrum, 15.2 cm high. are top notch, and two little bas reliefsPossibly fragments from the stele of Ur-Nammu, i.e., “King before God,” stone (B16676.14). made us break all the commandments.

Thanks for your February 28th letter. I am sure you are right in what you say of Mallon. I am very curious indeed to know what turns up at Stora.

Thanks, too, for writing Mother and Mrs. McLeanMrs. Frederick Forrest (Kathleen Burke) Peabody, who married John Reginald McLean on March 2, 1929. He died in an automobile accident on March 11, 1929, on their honeymoon in Montecito, California. Anna Dorinda Barnes Bliss and Kathleen Burke McLean both made monetary contributions to the Tylers’ photographic reference library at Antigny-le-Château. McLean donated $500 on February 6, 1929. Bliss Papers, HUGFP 38.6, box. 2. such nice notes. They were both appreciated; but the latter came at a most tragic period for Mrs. McLean, whose husband was killed in a motor accident nine days after their marriage. She is literally shot to pieces, and twists one’s heart to think of. She is now in the south of France with a trained nurse, and means to come to Paris after our arrival, and is very anxious to meet you. She must be given a job which will take her thoughts off these last hideous weeks, and she is a really competent person. Sir William Tyrrell,William George Tyrrell, 1st Baron Tyrrell (1866–1947), a British diplomat and ambassador to France between 1928 and 1934. I think, has designs on getting her back into the fold, but before she becomes definitely enmeshed I want her to see Antigny, Pierce’s [sic] library, etc. It might be of mutual benefit.

Robert has just gone up to Philadelphia and Boston to try and extract funds for the Argentine enterprises. We shall have much to tell you on our return.

Best love to Elisina and Bill and to you, always, from us both.

Excuse brevity & aridity. The warmth lies between the lines!


Associated Things: M. & R. Stora, Paris