Royall Tyler to Mildred Barnes Bliss, September 4, 1937


I’ve not had much time since I last wrote, dearest Mildred; now I’m off on another journey, and must deal with some more points in your last letter before I start.

Ego-centrically, I’ll begin with self. As you may have seen, we had a success in London in June. Got a definitive settlement of the Reconstruction Loan ‘24 (League Loan),The League of Nations negotiated an international reconstruction loan of 250 gold crowns to Hungary in 1923–1924. See Zoltán Peterecz, “Jeremiah Smith Jr. and Hungary, 1924–1926: The United States, the League of Nations, and the Financial Reconstruction of Hungary” (PhD diss, Eötvös Loránd University, Budapest, 2009). and 3-year agreements on practically all the rest of our foreign debts. Moreover, the budget is practically balanced.

Now, though it can’t be affirmed that “financial stability is assured”—the condition which the Hung. Govt., in ‘31, agreed must be fulfilled before the post I occupy should be terminated, I think the efforts of these last years have brought Hungary as near to fulfilling it as circumstances will allow. And I think Hung. deserves that a gesture of recognition be made by the Fin. Ctee.Financial Committee of the League of Nations. And the only sufficient gesture, it seems to me, wd. be my withdrawal (termination of post).

LovedayAlexander Loveday (1888–1962), a British economist who worked for the League of Nations, becoming director of the Financial Section and Economic Intelligence Service in 1931. (Director of the Fin. Section at Geneva) is also of this opinion. NiemeyerSir Otto Ernst Niemeyer (1883–1971), a British banker and financial controller at the treasury and a director at the Bank of England. is not, and though N.Sir Otto Ernst Niemeyer (1883–1971), a British banker and financial controller at the treasury and a director at the Bank of England. went off the Fin. Ctee.Financial Committee of the League of Nations. in a huff in June, he has not given up trying to run it. His successor, PhillipsSir Frederick Phillips (1884–1943), a British banker and politician who entered the treasury as an assistant principal in 1908. He became the private secretary to the permanent secretary to the treasury in 1911, principal in 1912, assistant secretary in 1919, principal assistant secretary in 1927, and deputy controller in 1931. He was appointed under secretary in 1932, joint third secretary in 1939, and joint second secretary in 1942. (head of the Budget section of the Treasury) takes much the same view as N.Sir Otto Ernst Niemeyer (1883–1971), a British banker and financial controller at the treasury and a director at the Bank of England.

The Fin. Ctee.Financial Committee of the League of Nations. after resignation of N.Sir Otto Ernst Niemeyer (1883–1971), a British banker and financial controller at the treasury and a director at the Bank of England. and 3 others, is in a state of transition; Phillips’ influence will be great, there, as it also is in London—much greater with the Govt. than N’s.Sir Otto Ernst Niemeyer (1883–1971), a British banker and financial controller at the treasury and a director at the Bank of England. So the urgent thing to do is to get Phillips to share Loveday’s and my view—and also the Chairman of the Ctee, PospisilVilém Pospíšil (1873–1942), a Czech economist and lawyer who was director of the Prague Savings Bank and vice chairman of the Czech Banking Committee of the Banking Authority at the Ministry of Finance. He was chairman of the Finance Committee of the League of Nations. (Czecho). I’m shortly going to Geneva, where the assembly will gather the above, and other members, to try to get them to see that if the change isn’t made now, there’s no prospect of conditions more favourable developing for years to come. If it’s not done now, when ought it to be done? And if it’s not done now, opinion here will soon (or probably, and quite naturally may) start agitating against continuation of “control”, and the step may have to be taken in far less good conditions and atmosphere than wd. be possible now.

If it can be done now, Loveday’s idea is that I should be transferred (in theory) to Geneva, and that I should do bi-annual reports, both on Hung. and on Austria, these reports to be unsigned and to appear as Secretariat reports (it’s already been done, in the Austrian case, since Rost’sMeinoud Marinus Rost van Tonningen (1894–1945), a Dutch politician of the National Socialist Movement. He represented the League of Nations in Vienna between 1923 and 1928 and between 1931 and 1936, when he monitored Austria’s financial policy. While in Vienna, he developed strong anti-Semitic and anti-Communist convictions. departure). The Fin. Ctee.Financial Committee of the League of Nations. would consider Hung. and Austr. affairs at only one annual meeting, but there I’d report orally, and the Hunk“Hungarian.” and Aust. Fin. Ministers and heads of the Nat. Bank wd. also attend. Like that, we’d preserve contact, and keep the machinery going, so that if need arose (the next depression may not be very far ahead), arrangement for closer co-operation could be made without the publicity and odium that would be inevitable if there had been complete discontinuation of relations between the two countries and the Fin. Ctee.Financial Committee of the League of Nations.

Bulgaria, thank God, is to be left alone (Adviser continuing) for the present—and I hope the present will be a good long time.

Now, if Loveday and I can get the Fin. Ctee.Financial Committee of the League of Nations. to march, Loveday (AvenolJoseph Louis Anne Avenol (1879–1952), a French diplomat who served as the second secretary general of the League of Nations between 1933 and 1940. agreeing) has further plans for me (Extremely confidential, like the foregoing). They want me to be available, to go once or twice to the USA, and act as liaison between Geneva and Washington. There’ll also be a man from Washington residing at Geneva. In the past, liaison with the USA has been too much in the hands of people whose connexions over there are with League fans, League Unions etc. What Avenol and Loveday want is a man who has no connexion with pro-League circles over there, and whose job would be to pussy-foot over, sans tambour ni trompette,“Unheralded.” and try to keep Washington informed (esp. on financial and econ. issues) with a view, where possible, to getting an understanding, perhaps even parallel action, on this question or that, but without any sort of intention of trying to draw the USA into the League Ambit. This idea attracts me.

If it all comes off, my centre could be Antigny (120 miles from Geneva). I’d be, say, 2 months in the year here, 2 months in Austria, some 3 months (with journey-time) in USA, 2-3 months, in short periods, in Geneva, and the rest at Antigny. I don’t want to have to take a house or flat at Geneva. Elisina doesn’t much care for the place; nor do I. This scheme keeps me on work that I’m interested in, without involving continuous residence at Geneva.

The Fin. Ctee.Financial Committee of the League of Nations. doesn’t meet again till Nov. or Dec., and the decision (on its recommendation) by the Council can’t be taken till the Council’s Jan. meeting. So there can’t be any formal change till after that. But I hope we can get the various people on whom it depends lined up, so that I may know, by about mid-Oct. I hope, whether the scheme can come off or not. In the meantime, secrecy is essential to the success of it. But I can’t resist the temptation to tell you. I think you’ll approve—I hope so. The Hunk“Hungarian.” has behaved very loyally to the Fin. Ctee.Financial Committee of the League of Nations. through a difficult series of years, and I hope that Imrédy,Béla Imrédy de Ómoravicza (1891–1946), who was president of the Hungarian National Bank beginning in 1935 and later Prime Minister of Hungary between 1938 and 1939. the Pres. of the Hunk Nt. Bk.,Hungarian National Bank. will now be appointed to the Fin. Ctee.Financial Committee of the League of Nations. so that after having been in the dock, or at any rate on the mat, for a long time, he may now take his place on the bench.

An integral, part of the scheme is that my colleague Bruce,Henry J. Bruce, an English banker, was the adviser of the Hungarian National Bank beginning in 1931. the Bank Adviser (Brit.) should continue here, on a slightly changed status, thus helping to maintain liaison and contact with the BâleBasel, in German, the third largest city in Switzerland. (BIS),Bank of International Settlements, Basel. London and the Fin. Ctee.Financial Committee of the League of Nations. The Hunk“Hungarian.” is agreeable, happily. He is very nice about the whole thing, and says he’ll be sorry to see me go—but I’d rather get out while he’d still rather have me stay, ¿no te parece?“Don’t you agree?” Not outstay my welcome, in fact.

How much time I shall be able to give to Byz. remains to be seen. But I hope to have much more time now at Antigny, and that’s a good place to work in.

Insuring the round EmperorBZ.1937.23. has been more complicated than I expected. LloydsLloyds of London, a British insurance company. at first demurred, the Swiss Companies refused, and I had to get in touch personally with someone at Lloyds. Finally, I have got (just this moment) Lloyds covering note, and all that remains now is to get their approval of the packer. I see Fiedler on Tues. (7 Sept.), and hope the Emp. can take an early boat to Baltimore, Md.

Fiedler will have lots to tell about his trip to Cologne, Hannover, Berlin, Dresden, Gotha. I’ll add to this letter when I’ve seen him. I’m stopping at Zurich for that purpose.

Tomorrow, I plan to see the Juritzky Coll. (H. P.’s iron bird,This iron bird has not been identified. It is mentioned in correspondence from Antonin Juritzky to Robert Woods Bliss, dated March 4, 1936, in the Byzantine Collection, Juritzky correspondence file. and a cameoBZ.1936.31. Robert got at Vienna in ‘36) J. says he has a lot of Byz. and Völkerwanderung“Migration.” things. The Coll. is at Gablitz,Juritzky lived in the villa “Mon Repos” in Gablitz, near Vienna. 18 k. fr. Vienna.

Bill is well, working very hard. He would have preferred Paris, of course, but from the career point of view Paris is hopeless. It will never be an international financial centre, of that I’m sure. London isn’t bad, after all. They have a very nice little house on the slopes of Camden Hill: 50 Argyll Terrace, W. 8 (the W. 8 gets them off about 50% rent, as it’s undistinguished), just above Holland House Gardens, and a step from Kensington Gdns.

In Paris, in a few days. I hope to find out definitely whether GrundThe stock of the Librairie de France was acquired in 1937 by the Librairie Gründ; the two sons, Michel and Jacques, of its founding editor, Ernest Gründ (1870–1930), ran the business in 1937. (Jew) who has bought the Lib. de Fr.Librairie de France. stock, (and also Van Oast’sLibrairie Néerlandaise, Paris, G. van Oast, editor.) wants to continue our book. If he does, Vol. Ill is ready in no time—I’ve given the bon á tirer.“Copy to press.” And the blurb can then come out. Van MoéÉmile-Aurèle Van Moé (1895–1944), a librarian in the department of manuscripts of the Bibliothèque nationale, Paris. is real—he is now second in command at the Dept des MSS, Bib. Nat. I ran into him there not long ago. He’s most enthusiastic about l’Art Byz.

Phyllis Ackermann’s [sic]Phyllis Ackerman (1893–1977), author and specialist in the fields of Persian textiles, European tapestries, and Chinese bronzes. rejoinder,Phyllis Ackerman, “The Prague Rider Silk,” The Burlington Magazine for Connoisseurs 69, no. 400 (July 1936): 43. in the Burl., to my article on the Prague silkThe “Prague Rider Silk,” composed of fragments of a seventh-century silk mounted to the insides of the end boards of a ninth-century gospel book in the Chapter Library of Prague Cathedral. See Hayford Peirce and Royall Tyler, “The Prague Rider-Silk and the Persian-Byzantine Problem,” The Burlington Magazine for Connoisseurs 68, no. 398 (May 1936): 213–15, 218–21, and 224.—was just a bold assertion, with no sort of proof or even reason, to back it. I have no opinion as to the value of what she says until she publishes something on the subject. And even then . . . I wonder. Such of her stuff as I’ve seen is mostly sound and fury.

No, I don’t know Morey’sAmerican 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. book on Early Christian Art,Charles Rufus Morey, Christian Art (London and New York: Longmans, Green and Co., 1935). nor the one you refer to on Persian textiles.Possibly Nancy Andrews Reath, Persian Textiles and Their Technique from the Sixth to the Eighteenth Centuries (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1937. I’d like to see them very much, thanks.

I’m glad you like Lucca.BZ.1937.18. The ivory is called the Lucca panel because when Goldschmidt and Weitzmann published the ivory (Adolph Goldschmidt and Kurt Weitzmann, Die byzantinischen Elfenbeinskulpturen des X.–XIII. Jahrhunderts, vol. 2, Reliefs [Berlin: Bruno Cassirer, 1934], no. 37, pl. 14), its whereabouts was unknown and they used an engraving of the object that identified it as being in the city of Lucca. So do I, very much indeed. I’ve just had a good photo of it from Mrs. Sessions.

Precious Mildred, I’m apalled [sic] by your list of things to be acquired.Although Mildred Bliss’s letter containing a list of artworks to be acquired has not been preserved, a list of suggested acquisitions was prepared by Barbara Sessions in 1937. Dumbarton Oaks History, Barbara Sessions Correspondence, 1935–1940 file, Dumbarton Oaks Archives. Only one suggestion, Black-figure Athenian, has a penciled check mark: Collection Desiderata (some very random notes!) Ceramics, Greek and Mediterranean Cretan types. Mycenaean types. Geometric, especially Athenian “Dipylon” ware. Corinthian. Black-figure Athenian. Typical shapes: panel amphora, “little master” kylix, eye-kylix, etc. Red-figure Athenian. White-ground lekythos. Moulded vases, as rhyton, cup-bearing head, etc. Black-glaze waresa without painted decoration but of fine form (unusually have incised decoration).———Etruscan “bucchero neor”. Roman wares: Arretine (moulds or vases). Terra cottas Boeotian “geometric” animal or figure types; so-called “goddess” figures. Archaic Greek terra-cotta statuettes or heads of any type. “Melian” cut-out reliefs (cf. good examples in the Metropolitan). (A Tanagra figure of fine quality?) Late portrait or caricature types, for connection with popular life, theater, etc.———Etruscan–possibly a fine architectural fragment on the order of the antefix recently acquired by the Metropolitan.———Bronzes Geometric, Greek, both animal and figure types. 6th Century Greek, to show the archaic phase preceding a transitional work like the Hephaestus. A fine Etruscan bronze for comparison with the Italo-Greek statuette. Sculpture Cycladic “idol” types.Archaic Greek—anything!———Late Roman relief. A Christian sarcophagus front of any of the many types.———Late Roman ivory or bone carving.———An ivory of Goldschmidt’s “Ada” school. (Were you definitely not interested in the one of which Marvin Ross sent photographs some time ago?) For the Byzantine collection, why not go through the Berlin catalogues, Goldschmidt, etc., and systematically try for objects which seem particularly attractive? Byzantine desiderata: a good ivory casket, or casket plaques of mid-Byzantine period with classicizing subjects. Miniature mosaic. A bronze lamp; bronze weights.In general, more objects showing technique of metal-work, or combinations of various techniques, as in book-covers. A bit reassured when you told me you didn’t want to scatter too much, and that Byz. remains the main thing. But I do beg you to consider that if you go in for all you mention in that list you’ll be in grave danger of scattering, and of getting a lot of things of no relevancy to your central subject—and perhaps even not of first quality. I’ll confess to you that I don’t care much for the ivory part of the Melk reliquary,BZ.1937.16. (I admit the top is attractive) and that I’m not at all sorry that you didn’t compete for the Guelph treasure.The Guelph Treasure, a large medieval German treasure owing its name to links to the twelfth-century Frankish aristocratic family called the Guelphs. The treasure was sold in 1930 to a number of German dealers who exhibited and sold the artworks over several years. It is not clear which pieces the Blisses were interested in. I’d be very chary of getting Germanic stuff. It’s very costly, and often very poor, in my opinion.

FritzRoyall Tyler’s slang for “Germans.” is willing to sell Byz. things at present. In your place, I’d buy as many first rate Byz. things from him as I could, even paying big prices for them. We’ll see what Fiedler says about the Dresden-Hannover diptych,See letters of March 1, 1937; April 6, 1937; April 9, 1937 [2]; June 3, 1937; July 25, 1937; August 18, 1937; August 21, 1937; September 11, 1937; December 13, 1937 [3]; and December 20, 1937. the Cologne-Deutz lion shroud,Lion Silk, Byzantine, late tenth–early eleventh century, Saint Heribert Diocesan Museum, Cologne-Deutz. The twelfth-century shrine of Saint Heribert, archbishop of Cologne (d. 1021), at Saint Heribert, Cologne-Deutz, has an imperial Byzantine lion silk with an inscription suggesting a date of ca. 976–1025 for the textile. See Michael Brandt and Arne Eggebrecht, Bernward von Hildesheim und das Zeitalter der Ottonen, vol. 2 (Hildesheim, 1993): no. II-19. etc. And, who knows—LimburgReliquary of the True Cross (Staurotheke), Byzantine, ca. 960, gold, gems, and enamel, Cathedral Museum, Limburg an der Lahn. might be pried loose. That would be a haul. I do implore you to go easy on Greek and pre-Greek, on Germanic and on Ital. primitives. Such a racket, both the latter. And not to aim at forming an all round representative collection.

As for MSS, I have some ideas, connected with Mt. Athos. There just aren’t any on the market. We’ll see if the HippiatricaHippiatrica, Byzantine, mid-tenth century, Staatsbibliothek, Berlin, Codex Phillips 1538. . . . . (!!).

Coins, I also have some ideas, which we’ll talk over when we meet. It would help if you could find out

a) whether Whittemore wants to sell his to the Fogg, and

b) what he actually has got.Thomas Whittemore bequeathed his coin collection to Harvard University in 1950, specifying that it remain at the Fogg Museum in Cambridge. See Alfred R. Bellinger and Philip Grierson, eds., Catalogue of the Byzantine Coins in the Dumbarton Oaks Collection and in the Whittemore Collection (Washington, D.C.: Dumbarton Oaks Trustees for Harvard University, 1966), 1:xiii–xiv.

I’ve never been able to get any information as to the actual contents of his coin collection from him, except that there’s a lot of copper in it—not necessarily a bad thing: the Byz. copper is most interesting, and has been neglected.

Then there’s Hayford’s Coll.Dumbarton Oaks acquired the coin collection of Hayford Peirce in 1948. . . . Well, we’ll have to talk it over. I’ve never breathed a word to him, but I’ve often thought we might make an effort to secure that for the Oaks. It’s a grand collection, with many unica in it, and hardly any important gaps.

That new “Veroli” casketWood, ivory, and bone casket, Byzantine, eleventh or twelfth century in a nineteenth-century ensemble, Victoria and Albert Museum, London, acc. no. A.8-1937. The casket was acquired from Thomas Cottrell-Dormer. The Victoria and Albert Museum also has the Veroli Casket, which Royall Tyler alludes to. It is a Byzantine ivory, wood, and metal casket, with traces of polychromy and gilding, made in Constantinople in the late tenth century, acc. no. 216-1865. It was kept in the cathedral treasury at Veroli, southeast of Rome, until 1861. was brought into the V & A by one Cottrell-Dormer,Thomas Cottrell-Dormer (1894–1990). who had just inherited it, and was bought, I believe, for about £500!

No more news of the International Repertory (not Catalogue) of Byz. Art.The International Repertory of Byzantine Art has not been identified. I think with terror of the idea being taken up actively—poor me.

The Calendar!. That, we must finish. We’ve got all the material down to the death of Mary—and from Elizabeth’s accession on, the work is done, and published. We’re making one Vol. from 1 Jan. ‘54 to the marriage of Philip and Mary, 25 July ‘54, and another from the latter point to Mary’s death ‘58.Volume twelve (January–July 1554) was published in 1949, and volume thirteen (July 1554–November 1558) was published posthumously in 1954. The material peters out pathetically from the time when it became apparent that Mary wasn’t going to have a child.

Your idea of getting a sort of Register of the Byz. objects in USA is splendid.In anticipation of the creation of the Dumbarton Oaks Research Library and Collection, Mildred and Robert Woods Bliss began a Census of Objects of Early Christian and Byzantine Art in North American Collections in 1938. The purpose of this census was to provide visual and documentary reference material for future study. The census was to include only Byzantine manuscripts not listed in Seymour De Ricci, Census of Medieval and Renaissance Manuscripts in the United States and Canada, 2 vols. (New York: H. W. Wilson, 1935–1940). For the Dumbarton Oaks census, the Blisses appointed Elizabeth Dow and Louisa Bellinger as research assistants for the project. When necessary, they went to museums and private collections, and Bellinger concentrated on textiles. By 1941, census records had been made for some eight thousand objects. The census ceased acquiring records by 1946, although it was updated in the 1970s and the mid-1980s and today contains over eleven thousand mounted black-and-white photographic prints filed by medium, stylistic and chronological characteristics, and region of origin. The census collection is held by the Image Collections and Fieldwork Archives at Dumbarton Oaks. See “The Research Library,” Bulletin of the Fogg Art Museum 9, no. 4 (March 1941): 67–68.

Ah, Mildred dear—what share can I take in the D.O. plans?In 1937, Mildred and Robert Woods Bliss were actively planning the Dumbarton Oaks Research Library and Collection, focused on Byzantine studies, which they would inaugurate on November 1, 1940, and give to Harvard University on November 29, 1940. You know I’ll always do what I can, but I’ve also got to earn my living, and I consider myself lucky that there are people who want to employ the likes of me, as above outlined.

Stoclet. If ever he were disposed to sell that chalice [sic]Paten, sardonyx, silver gilt, copper, and cloisonné enamel on gold, Byzantine, late ninth–early tenth century, Musée du Louvre, Paris, inv. no. OA 11878. Adolphe Stoclet had acquired this paten from the Pidal family in Madrid. See Klaus Wessel, Die Byzantinische Emailkunst, Vom 5. bis 13. Jahrhundert (Recklinghausen: Bongers, 1967), 67–68, no. 15. of his, there’s a thing to go for. A holy marvel.

The BonessiDr. Ugo Bonessi (dates unknown), an Italian collector in Rome. enamel.This brooch is discussed and illustrated in Eric Maclagan, “768. Gefälschte Goldemail-Medaillons,” Mitteilungen des Museen-Verbandes als Manuskript für die Mitglieder gedruckt und ausgegeben im Juli 1938 (July 1938): 16–26, fig. 1. Maclagan believed this medallion to be a fake. See letter of November 6, 1936. Eric thinks it’s wrong. But he, inexplicably, didn’t look at it under the lamp.Royall Tyler believed that fake Byzantine enamels fluoresced when illuminated by a quartz lamp. He says there’s another, similar one, which was sold by Pollack [sic]Ludwig Pollak (1868–1943), Jewish German art dealer and consultant for collectors of ancient art. He lived most of his life in Rome. (Rome) to Robert von HirschRobert Max Hirsch (after 1913 von Hirsch) (1883–1977), a Jewish German industrialist, collector, and patron. (dye-stuff magnate, fired out of Germany and now living at Bâle), and Hirsch, convinced that it is wrong, has made Pollack [sic] take it back. Then, it is said that the Deutsches Inst. at Rome has a photo of yet another, which was on the market in ‘32 or ‘33. Eric hasn’t seen this photo, which may be of your medallion.BZ.1933.5.

As against this, Volbach had the Bonessi-Stoclet one in his drawer for weeks, started prejudice against it, and finally came to the conclusion that it is certainly right. Well, we’ll see. As far as Eric knows, none except yours have been examined under the lamp.

6.IX. Vienna. I’ve just been out to Gablitz to see Prince Juritzky’s things. He hasn’t got much (he says he has more, Völkerwanderung“Migration.” things, gold and silver, somewhere, and will produce them “later”). But there are a few things of which I’ve asked him to send you photos.

2) A Zodiacal sign,BZ.1953.4. from some opus sectile ensemble, Capricorn, the goat in red porph., in relief, on green serpentine. May be Roman (Arms of Augustus) but it looks IV cent, to me. Good. J.Antonin Juritzky. asks Sch. 6000.

3) A good little (XIIe) hematite cameoThis hematite cameo of Saint George has not been identified. It is mentioned in correspondence from Antonin Juritzky to Robert Woods Bliss, dated September 18, 1937. Byzantine Collection, Juritzsky correspondence file. of St. George. Sch. 2000.

4) Two red porphyry heads,BZ.1953.1415. exactly like those on the architrave of the canopy over one of the Hohenstaufen tombsPorphyry sarcophagi in the cathedral of Palermo of Frederick II, his parents Henry VI and Constance, and his grandfather, Roger II of Sicily.  (Fred. IIFrederick II (1194–1250), Holy Roman Emperor and head of the House of Hohenstaufen.) at Palermo. Very characteristic of that strange bastard Fred. II art. DelbruckRichard Delbrueck (1875–1957), a German classical archaeologist and art historian. thinks (I don’t) they’re by a Rheims sculptor. XIIIe C. Lire 20,000.

5) A Longobard glass dish,BZ.1952.3. with rounds and crosses in various colours, VII-VIIIe, which I find attractive. Sch. 5000. Broken in many bits: none missing.

6) A Carolingian ivory cup,This Carolingian ivory cup has not been identified. It is mentioned in correspondence from Antonin Juritzky to Robert Woods Bliss, dated September 18, 1937. Byzantine Collection, Juritzsky correspondence file. very plain, with a very accomplished band of palmettes girdling it. I’m no fan for Carolingian ivories, but this object appeals to me, partly because it isn’t overladen. It was shown in the Frühchristliche Ausstellung“Early Christian exhibition.” Presumably, this exhibition was in Vienna, but its dates have not been identified. here some years ago. J. asks 8,000 Sch.

I have the impression that J. is decidedly open to an offer. I didn’t attempt to bargain, as I don’t know whether any of these things will appeal to you. You’ll see the photos.—and if you like, I’ll see what we can do.

7) I’d forgotten a big early IV cent. marble head,Portrait of a Priest, Roman, Asia Minor (?), late third century, marble, Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe, Hamburg, inv. No. 1961.139. over life-size, good of its sort. Sch. 4000. A priest—not an Emp. Rather in the style of some of the IVe cent, sculpture in the Constantinople Mus.

When I was last in Paris Kaleb showed me a Byz. agate (sardonyx) cameoIn a letter from Kalebdjian Frères to Robert Woods Bliss, dated September 7, 1937, the sardonyx cameo is described as Byzantine, having three layers, and depicting the Annunciation, and set in a gold mount probably of the nineteenth century. It was formerly in the collection of Louis Fould (1794–1858). See Charles Pillet, Catalogue de la précieuse collection d’objets d’art de M. Louis Fould (Paris: Pillet fils ainé, 1860), no. 963 bis. à couches“Layered.” of the Annunciation, asking (“it’s not his”) £250. I said that at that price I wouldn’t mention it to you. I’ve recently had a letter from him asking if he may send the photo. to you and mention £200. I’ve said he may—but I’m not at all keen on the thing as carving. I don’t think I’d give more than £100. I like Juritzky’s St. GeorgeThis hematite cameo of Saint George has not been identified. It is mentioned in correspondence from Antonin Juritzky to Robert Woods Bliss, dated September 18, 1937; see Byzantine Collection, Juritzsky correspondence file. better (and he only asks about £80 for it). Eric Maclagan, who is here in Vienna for the Museumsverband,“Museum association.” tells me that not only have the Germans refused poor old GoldschmidtAdolph Goldschmidt (1863–1944), a Jewish German art historian. leave to come to attend this meeting, but that they won’t allow him to go again to USA! Isn’t it monstrous? I was always rather nervous about his returning to Germany. And it appears that they have been trying (in vain) to get his old housekeeper-servant (aged about 60) to state that GogoTyler’s nickname for Adolph Goldschmidt was Gogo. has made attempts on her virtue. You’ve doubtless heard that Jews in Germany aren’t allowed to have “Aryan” servants of under 45.

In connexion with the Museumverband meeting, there’s an exhibition of fakes at the big Museum here.“Gefälschte Kunstwerke,” Kunsthistorisches Museum, Sammlung für Plastik und Kunstgewerbe, Vienna, September–October 1937. Some juicy ones in it, too—but not all the fakes that particular Museum has on its conscience. Eric deplores this show—says that the fakers will learn much from it—discover where it was they slipped up and do better next time.


I had several hours with Fiedler yesterday. The outcome of his last trip is as follows: Gotha,See letters of April 8, 1937 [2]; April 9, 1937 [1]; April 9, 1937 [2]; April 16, 1937 [1]; April 16, 1937 [2]; May 22, 1937; June 3, 1937; June 16, 1937; June 26, 1937; July 6, 1937; July 25, 1937; August 21, 1937; September 4, 1937; October 25, 1937 [1]; November 23, 1937; December 13, 1937 [3]; February 28, 1938; March 31, 1938; July 10, 1938; July 29, 1938; August 10, 1938; August 16, 1938 [2]; December 20, 1938; and January 3, 1939. still pending, but he’s hopeful. Dresden. He saw the authorities, who are favourably disposed, both as regards the panel with 2 standing saintsSee letters of July 25, 1937; August 18, 1937; September 11, 1937; September 13, 1937; October 11, 1937 [2]; December 13, 1937; and April 15, 1938. and as regards the diptych leaf,See letters of March 1, 1937; April 6, 1937; April 9, 1937 [2]; June 3, 1937; July 25, 1937; August 18, 1937; August 21, 1937; September 11, 1937; December 13, 1937 [3]; and December 20, 1937. the other of which is in Hannover. (The Dresden one much the more attractive of the two; indeed I think perhaps the loveliest ivory of the Macedonian period, after the C. des M. Crowning of Romanos & Eudokia).Christ Crowning Romanos and Eudoxia, ca. 945–949, ivory, Département des Monnaies, Médailles et Antiques, Bibliothèque Nationale de France, Paris. Sans engagement,“Without commitment. they mentioned RM. 30,000 for each. This wd. have to be paid in dollars at the off-rate, i.e., wd. be some $14,000 each—not dear, considering quality and importance, but one might be able to get a reduction. Fiedler will pursue.

Hannover. The diptych leaf,See letters of March 1, 1937; April 6, 1937; April 9, 1937 [2]; June 3, 1937; July 25, 1937; August 18, 1937; August 21, 1937; September 11, 1937; December 13, 1937 [3]; and December 20, 1937. alas, belongs not to the Museum, but to the City of Luneburg, which won’t hear of selling.

Deutz. The lion-silkLion Silk, Byzantine, late tenth–early eleventh century, Saint Heribert Diocesan Museum, Cologne-Deutz. The twelfth-century shrine of Saint Heribert, archbishop of Cologne (d. 1021), at Saint Heribert, Cologne-Deutz, has an imperial Byzantine lion silk with an inscription suggesting a date of ca. 976–1025 for the textile. See Michael Brandt and Arne Eggebrecht, Bernward von Hildesheim und das Zeitalter der Ottonen, vol. 2 (Hildesheim, 1993): no. II-19. has been taken back by the Ch. of St. Heribert, which says it isn’t selling.

Fiedler thinks that he is going to be able, on his next trip (starting about the 18th inst.), to get photos. of the Berlin archaic stuff.These sculptures, which are described as reliefs in the letter of April 6, 1937, have not been identified. See also letter of March 1, 1937. We’ll see. If it’s really first rate, perhaps some US museum wd. be interested (Fogg?); I hate to think of D.O. paying for it.

Prince L’s VirginBZ.1938.62. is still in the Kaiser Friedrich Mus., but the family think they can get it out.Friedrich Leopold's mother, Luise Sofie von Schleswig-Holstein (1866–1952), writes in her autobiography, Behind the Scenes at the Prussian Court (London: John Murray, 1939), 248: “At a forced sale of a part of my son’s collection . . . higher prices were obtained than those originally paid . . . I do not know who pocketed the proceeds of the sale . . . Later, we traced with the utmost difficulty a priceless carved Madonna; Bode, the curator of the Kaiser Friedrich Museum in Berlin, had his eye upon it; but we finally managed to buy it back.” Not wise to insist, I think. Let ‘em alone for a bit.

Now, may I tell you briefly about Edith Wharton’s estate? She has left Elisina as residuary legatee, both in USA and here.

In USA, the bulk of Edith’s property was in trust, and passes automatically to Beatrix. Out of trust there’s something in securities, but a number of legacies, and inheritance tax, are a charge on this and it is very doubtful whether anything at all will remain. Indeed, the legacies may have to be reduced pro-rata all round.

In France, St. Brice has to be sold, proceeds to go to the Maisons de Convalescence Fco. Américaines.The organization administering rest houses and sanitoriums that Edith Wharton created in 1916. And it has been sold, to Arthur Sachs,Arthur Sachs (1880–1975), banker, collector, and brother of Paul Sachs. After Arthur Sachs graduated from Havard College in the class of 1901, he began working for his family’s investment company, Goldman, Sachs and Company, in New York City. In 1904, he became a partner, and in 1906 he married Alice Goldschmidt. brother of Paul S., who we think will preserve its character. The furniture went to Elisina as residuary legatee, and she has sold it en bloc to A.S.,Arthur Sachs. which helped the sale to go through. She has kept a few things as souvenirs. The books, here and at Hyères, are left to Kenneth Clark’sBaron Kenneth McKenzie Clark (1903–1983), a British art historian, author, and director of the National Gallery in London, beginning in 1933. little boy,Alan Kenneth Mackenzie Clark (1928–1999), a British Conservative MP and historian. except art books, which go to Bill. A lot of objects have been left as legacies.

Hyères goes to Elisina, and is a problem. We don’t yet know what the probate valuation will be. On that sum, Elisina will have to pay 40% succession tax.

Elisina is very loth [sic] to consider selling Hyères. But it’s a very (for our circumstances) big morsel to keep up. Elisina hopes to let it for 3 years and recoup what she’ll have to plunk down for the succession tax. If you happened to come across anyone likely to be interested, do speak about the place to them. 70,000 francs per annum including everything except master’s linen. I think you know the place—there’s nothing quite like it, and it should prove attractive—but I tremble at the thought of the expenses we’ll be put to if it doesn’t get let promptly.

Well, I’d better stop now—a score of pages is a good round number. If I continued, it might easily run to another score.

Fondest love—con un enorme abrazo.“With a huge hug.”

R. T.

Enclosed a photo of a Pers. silk,BZ.1937.25. from the Düsseldorf Museum, which is also liquidating its “Non Aryan” stuff. Not dear at £35. If you want it, please tell Bill to secure it. Burg-Drey,A collaboration of the art dealers Dr. Hermann Burg and Franz A. Drey, London. now associated, in London, are helping FritzRoyall Tyler’s slang for “Germans.” to get rid of this sort of degraded non-Germanic so-called art.

I fully realise I ought to make an index to this letter, but trust you’ll forgive me for failing to do so.