Royall Tyler to Robert Woods Bliss, September 11, 1937

Pavillon Colombe

St Brice-Sous-Forêt (S&O)

11.IX.37

Dear Robert.

I have just had your letter of Aug. 18–26. Though I sent off a tomeSee letter of September 4, 1937. to Mildred two days ago, I’ll not let you off now.

Emperor.BZ.1937.23. I hope we can ship him by the Baltimore mail boat sailing Sept. 27. The insurance isn’t concluded yet. Lloyds are pretty slow, when it’s a question of an object that’s abroad.

I hope to send you shortly a new & better photo of the Prince’s standing Virgin.BZ.1938.62. She is lovely—of a lovliness that to my eye has something more sentimental about it than the Byzantines normally care to convey. I should guess that she is Venetian. But she is delicious. I want to have another look at her sisters in VeniceThe Virgin sculptures in the church of Saint Mark, Venice, are detailed in Otto Demus, The Church of San Marco in Venice: History, Architecture, Sculpture (Washington, D.C.: Dumbarton Oaks Research Library and Collection, Trustees for Harvard University, 1960), pls. 36, 37, and 43. before making up my own mind. Anyway, you’ve not in a hurry.

You’ll have seen what I say in my letter to Mildred about the Hannover diptych wingSee letters of March 1, 1937; April 6, 1937; April 9, 1937 [2]; June 3, 1937; July 25, 1937; August 18, 1937; September 4, 1937; September 11, 1937; December 13, 1937; and December 20, 1937. & about the Dresden one. We won’t get ‘em—i.e. the Dresden wing & the Dresden 2 saints panelSee letters of July 25, 1937; August 18, 1937; September 4, 1937; September 13, 1937; October 11, 1937 [2]; December 13, 1937; and April 15, 1938.—Hannover being out of reach—for the price I first mentioned—that was just to start the ball a rolling. The Dresden 2-saint panel is also exceedingly fine. I haven’t got a photo of it here, but it’s almost identical with the 2-saint panels in VeniceJohn the Evangelist and Paul, mid-tenth century, ivory, Museo Archeologico, Venice. See Adolph Goldschmidt and Kurt Weitzmann, Die byzantinischen Elfenbeinskulpturen des X.–XIII. Jahrhunderts, vol. 2, Reliefs (Berlin: Bruno Cassirer, 1934), 38, no. 43, pl. 19. & ViennaAndrew and Peter, mid-tenth century, ivory, Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna, no. 26736. See Adolph Goldschmidt and Kurt Weitzmann, Die byzantinischen Elfenbeinskulpturen des X.–XIII. Jahrhunderts, vol. 2, Reliefs (Berlin: Bruno Cassirer, 1934), 38–39, no. 44, pl. 19.—you’ve got a photo of the Venice one, I think.

Deutz 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. alas, nothing doing.

I agree the well-headThis well-head is not catalogued in Gerd-H. Zuchold, Der “Klosterhof” des Prinzen Karl von Preussen im Park von Schloss Glienicke in Berlin (Berlin: Gebr. Mann Verlag, 1993). may be left aside.

We might have a go at the Bird & DeersIt is not certain which relief is referred to here. It is probably a relief sculpture with the Tree of Life and three pairs of animals and birds, third quarter of the twelfth century, marble, Schloss Glienicke, Potsdam-Berlin. See Gerd-H. Zuchold, Der “Klosterhof” des Prinzen Karl von Preussen im Park von Schloss Glienicke in Berlin (Berlin: Gebr. Mann Verlag, 1993), 1: pl. 59b and 2:73, no. 52. relief (still Prince L) if & when we make an attempt on the Virgin.BZ.1938.62.

I agree with what you say about the El Grecos.See letter of July 31, 1937. I’ve heard nothing from Wildenstein—who certainly will let me know if H.M. of R.“His Majesty the King of Romania.” Carol II (1893–1953) reigned as king of Romania between 1930 and 1940. wants to sell.

Also agree about the Romanesque bronze head.This Romanesque bronze head has not been identified.

The ivory plaque referred to by BorelliBorelli has not been identified. (Jesus & St. Thomas) must be the doubting Thomas.BZ.1937.7. I suspect Borelli was asked, some time back, if he could place it, without ever having it in his hands.

I’m delighted to hear that the Mexican objectsPC.B.045, PC.B.056, PC.B.100, PC.B.101, PC.B.110, PC.B.160, PC.B.161, PC.B.162, and PC.B.249. have arrived safely.

I saw Stora this morn, He hasn’t heard definitively about the gold cross,BZ.1937.24. but says “pour moi l’affaire est faite.”“For me the business is done.” I hope so, for it’s an A 1 object.

You’ll have seen from my letter to Mildred that I’m not particularly keen on Melk altarBZ.1937.16. No. 1—let alone getting another. I think those Germanic Carolingian & Ottonian objects have been boosted to altogether absurd prices, & as art most of them are, to my mind, inferior to Byz. 22$22,000.00. is, I consider, an awful price for No.1. The Dresden diptych leaf, if one could get it for 15, wd be a marvelous buy—and it’s alone in mint, whereas there are masses & masses of that German stuff.

I went to see BykPaul M. Byk (1887–1946), an employee of Arnold Seligmann, Rey & Co., New York. & asked to look at his Carolingian painted parchment page,This manuscript page has not been identified. but it’s in London. I may see it next time I come through.

Stora is sending you photos & documents concerning a prodigious XIV cent. Hispano Alhambra vase.Although this vase has not been identified, it is described in a letter from Maurice Stora to Robert Woods Bliss, dated September 14, 1937. Accompanying the letter are two documents: “Expertise du Vase Alhambra” by Professor Egbal and “Eine spanisch-maurische Alhambra Vase” by Otto von Falke. Byzantine Collection dealer files, M. & R. Stora correspondence. See also letters of October 11, 1937 [2]; and October 25, 1937 [2]. I have only seen the photos, and I don’t know how much RothschildBaron Henri de Rothschild (1872–1947). would take for it. Stora is to try to get the vase, so that I may see it. It’s an exciting object, all right.

Saw Kalek today. He has a very lovely little archaic Greek bronze,This archaic Greek bronze has not been identified. which he is going to show you. If Doro Levi is about, try & show it to him. He’s the best connoisseur of archaic Greek, Minoan, Mycenean I know.It is unknown if there were originally more pages to this letter.