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Royall Tyler to Mildred Barnes Bliss, July 30, 1928 [2]

Ministry of Finance,

At last, dearest Mildred, I have a photo.This photograph, if still extant, is unknown. of the Sanguszko carpet. Not as good as I should like, but pretty fair, except for the central medallion, with its lovely groups of angels, which hardly comes out at all. However, the detail of the border and the end of the central panel and spandrels is quite clear. Of course you’ll realize that the nearest border, with its dragons etc. has been magnified out of all proportion and that the scale of the whole design of the carpet is thus hopelessly thrown out. I think, all the same, that with other carpets of the period in your eye, and with the help of the notes on the back as to colour, you’ll be able to form as good an idea of this stupendous object as would be possible without actually seeing it.

Did you see that the carpet from the Imp. Coll. at Vienna sold at Christies on 6 July for £23,100.0.0?In 1925, the Glasgow rug dealer Victor Isaac Behar, the founder of the firm Cardinal and Behar, London and Persia, acquired from the Vienna Museum für Kunst und Industrie a Persian carpet formerly owned by the Russian czar Peter the Great. See “Art: Rug,” Time, October 11, 1926. The carpet was in the Austrian Imperial House, Vienna, between 1698 and 1921 and the Vienna Museum für Kunst und Industrie between 1921 and 1925. It remained in the inventory of Cardinal and Behar until July 5, 1928, when it was sold at auction by Christie, Manson & Wood, London, to the International Art Galleries of New York for the then record price of $112,500. See “$112,500, Record Price, is Paid for a Rug; Famous Emperors’ Carpet Acquired at London Auction by New York Concern,” New York Times, July 6, 1928. The carpet was sold in 1928 to Arthur Upham Pope on behalf of Edith Rockefeller McCormick (1872–1932) of Chicago. The carpet remained in her estate until 1943, when it was again sold to Arthur Upham Pope on behalf of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, inv. no. 43,121.1. The carpet is Persian, second half of the sixteenth century. It is woven with an asymmetrically knotted pile on a silk warp and weft and measures 759.5 cm x 339.1 cm. See letters of April 29, 1928; June 26, 1928; and November 3, 1928. I know the carpet, it’s a fine one, but not a patch on Sanguszko’s either as to quality or as to state of preservation.

Sanguszko has come and gone; he only stayed here a day. I didn’t say anything about a sale. He is buying horses in large quantities—and other livestock as well, I expect.

I wish I knew your plans. I imagine you will soon be going on leave. I bought you, the other day in Paris, two little Scythian bronze knives, from the Massonneau coll.,The collection of Alexandre Merle de Massonneau was formed in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries from archaeological finds in the Caucasus area of south Russia. Massonneau was the principal wine maker to Czar Nicholas II for the imperial vineyards in the Crimea (Ukraine) and the northern Caucasus, and he also founded the Bank of the Orient in Paris. Massonneau also aided major European museums in the acquisition of finds from the Caucasus. In 1907, for example, the Kaiser Friedrich Museum in Berlin acquired an entire collection of vases, bronzes, glassware, terracottas, and small objects for the Antiquities Collection. For objects from the Massonneau Collection at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia; and the Bode Museum, Berlin, see Aleksandr M. Leskov, The Maikop Treasure (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, 2008). very pretty (£40.) and I’d have sent them off by the bag had I been sure they would reach you before you started. Do let me know what your plans are. Are you coming to Europe this time? If so, we must try to arrange for you to see the carpet. It is the most heavenly object. I can’t get it out of my eye—not that I want to. Talk about pictures! I’d rather have the carpet than all the pictures ever painted.

Hayford is coming over next month, and we’ll start work on another book on Byz. which we’ve agreed to do for a French publishing house (Librairie de France): 350 plates comprising 500 reproductions, and about 100 p. of text in big octavo.L’art byzantin, vol. 1. This will give us an opportunity to try some new ideas and publish a lot of new stuff—as well, of course, a lot already published; after all, one isn’t merely dealing in primeurs.

This will beguile the time during the 3 weeks or so I’m able to spend at Antigny this summer, for Bill won’t be there except for a few days at the end. He’s going to Canada! The ten winners of the chief events at Bisley (rifle shooting) Inter-public-school,Bisley is a village in Surry, England, known for rifle shooting since 1890, when the village became the location for the National Rifle Association Championships in the United Kingdom. See letter of June 26, 1928. are invited to attend the great Canadian rifle-shooting meet at Ottawa in August, and Bill is among them.These interchanges were fostered by the Imperial Cadet Association, founded in 1908 by Surgeon Captain R. J. E. Hanson to create and maintain links between the cadet movements in the United Kingdom, the Dominions, and the Colonies. During the 1920s, Hanson organized annual visits to Canada for rifle teams of United Kingdom Cadets; he introduced the “Athelings” (aetheling of Anglo-Saxon origin meaning “Prince” or “Young Noble”) to describe the members of these teams who were going overseas to represent their country as target rifle marksmen. By 1928, the date of this letter, these visits to Canada were firmly established, and they continued until 1939. See Council for Cadet Rifle Shooting, “History of the Athelings” (accessed July 24, 2014). He travels in great comfort, aux frais de la princesse,“Free of charge.” Literally: “At the expense of the Princess.” everything provided. The ten boys are accompanied by a regular Army Major, who will doubtless see that they behave themselves.

It was a wrench deciding to let him go, as he sails Aug. 4 and will only get back about 10 days before term starts in Sept., but his tutor at Harrow urged us to let him, and it will be a great experience for him, as he’ll quite rightly feel that he has won this trip by his own unaided exertions. I’m afraid he won’t be able to cross over onto US. soil, as he won’t be free of his movements, but at any rate he’ll make the acquaintance of the Am. continent.See letter of September 16, 1928 [2].

The June meeting of the Council was very disappointing where Hungary was concerned—though one hadn’t expected much. As I think I wrote to you at the time,See letter of March 13, 1928. I felt that the relative success the Hunkies scored in this affair at the March meeting was due much more to French displeasure with TitulescoNicolae (Nicholas) Titulesco (1882–1941), a Romanian diplomat, became Romania’s permanent representative to the League of Nations in 1921 and was, at the time, the Romanian minister of foreign affairs. and French inclination to show the Rumanians where they stand when France isn’t backing them than to any real progress in winning the Council to the Hung. view.On June 4–9, 1928, the League of Nations Council met at their fiftieth session to consider the Saint Gotthard machine-gun incident and the Hungarian Optants minority question.

However, the trick by which it was attempted, in June, to get the Council to wash its hands of the whole question once for all will not succeed, though its authors thought it had at the time. There’s no chance whatever of an amicable understanding being reached on the ground of the last Rumanian proposal. Nor do I think that the Hung. counter-proposal has much better chances of success. The Council will, in all likelihood, leave the cat on its door-step again next meeting, and it will be very curious to see what it decides to do with it, now that attempts to drown and hang it have all failed. One thing is certain: unless the Rumanians can offer the optants something solid in cash, the time will come when the question will have to be referred to the Hague—unless the Rumanians are willing to let the Arbitral Mixed Tribunal function as contemplated by the Treaty, and that they have quite definitely and repeatedly stated they never would do.In 1927, the Mixed Arbitral Tribunal upheld the Hungarian view that the expropriation of land in Transylvania constituted a violation of the Treaty of Trianon. But the League of Nations could not compel the Romanian state to comply with its decision.

Personally, I feel that, in equity, there is a lot to be said for the Rumanian contention that the intuition of the drafters of the clause in the Treaty invoked by Hungary could never have been to preclude Rumania from ever carrying out an agrarian reform.

What does seem to me shocking is that when Hungary has, on this single question, a case that is exceedingly strong in law (stronger in law, perhaps, than in equity) Rumania should be allowed to paralyse the procedure contemplated by the Treaty by simply threatening to withdraw from the LeagueThe League of Nations, an international organization in Geneva whose principal missions were to maintain world peace, settle international disputes through negotiation and arbitration, and create stability within financial markets. if the Treaty is allowed to function against her.

Many people who care nothing for either Rumania or Hungary, but much for the principle of arbitration, take this view, in France as well as in England. They ask what chances there are of ever getting a big power to submit to arbitration, if Rumania, on a question on which she pledged herself, when she signed the Trianon Treaty, to accept arbitration, can buck the whole machinery because she thinks arbitration would go against her?

Feeling is rising high in many quarters, in defence of the principle of arbitration. I think the Rumanians would be well advised to make the optants a serious offer—and if they did, Hungary would be very foolish not to make a considerable sacrifice to show her desire to settle and get rid of the question that has wasted more of the League’s time than any other. At present, unhappily, there’s no sign of the Rumanians being inclined to make a real offer—and I’m not at all sanguine about the prospects of its being accepted if they did. The Hunkies very naturally feel that they’ve put the Rumanians in the dock, and they’re enjoying it. But still, there are wise heads here, and I think wise counsels would probably prevail if a real offer were made.

It is good to think that the Kellogg pact is soon going to be signed.Frank Billings Kellogg (1856–1937), an American lawyer, politician, and statesman who, at the time, was the U.S. secretary of state. In response to negotiations with French prime minister Aristide Briand, he submitted a plan for the renunciation of war as a national instrument of foreign policy. This note became the Kellogg-Briand Pact, signed in 1928, for which Kellogg was awarded the 1929 Nobel Peace Prize. Some of the bloom has been taken off it in the course of the last few months, but I still think it’s a big step forward.

The Barclays,Sir Colville Adrian de Rune Barclay (1869–1929), a British diplomat in Hungary between 1924 and 1928 and an ambassador to Portugal in 1928–1929. His wife was Lady Barclay (née Sarita Enriqueta Ward). as you know, have gone to Lisbon, and his successor, Ld Chilston,Aretas Akers-Douglas, 2nd Viscount Chilston (1876–1947), the British ambassador to Hungary between 1928 and 1933. He married Amy Jennings-Bramly in 1903. is here—Lady Chilston came for a bit while I was away, and returns in autumn. I like him very much indeed. Very quiet, but with a great deal of understanding. The Hunkies won’t find him as Gemütlich as his predecessor, and he keeps no race horses and cares for no sport.

I saw Eric Maclagan in London. Very interesting indeed about the USA—particularly the collections. He and Hayford saw a lot of things together, and are in general agreement—there seem to be a lot of soft spots.

Much love to you both, and for the love of the Lord, let me know your movements.

Yrs ever
R. T.

Associated Places: Budapest (Hungary)
Associated Things: L'art byzantin
Associated Artworks: BZ.1928.3-4