Royall Tyler to Robert Woods Bliss, April 13, 1935

Finance Ministry



Dear Robert,

I’ve asked Stora to send you a photo of an ivory Virgin and Child,Virgin and Child, ivory, Museo d’arti applicate (Castello Sforzesco), Milan, no. 16. The museum acquired this ivory in 1935 as part of the bequest of the Trivulzio Collection. See Robert P. Bergman, “The Earliest Eleousa: A Coptic Ivory in the Walters Art Gallery,” The Journal of the Walters Art Gallery 48 (1990): 39–40, figs. 5–7. fr. the TrivulzioLuigi Alberico Trivulzio (1868–1938), Prince of Musocco and Marchese of Sesto Ulteriano. Trivulzio was responsible for the sale of much of his family’s art collection. Coll., which I find extremely interesting. He says he has it for a month, but doesn’t name a price. It reminds me somewhat of the ivory of the same subject in the Walters Coll.Virgin and Child, Coptic, seventh–eighth century, ivory, Walters Art Museum, Baltimore, acc. no. 71.297. This ivory was acquired by Henry Walters in 1905 and bequeathed to the Walters Art Museum in 1931. Whether it is Coptic or of some other Byz. provenance I don’t know, but it is certainly early and of very great rarity. Stora also says that the great Triv. ivories are going to the Turin Mus.Much of the Trivulzio Collection was acquired by the museum complex, Civiche Raccolte d’Arte Applicata, Castello Sforzesco, Milan, in 1935. I’ll try to find out if this is true. If it is, I’d be much tempted to try to get this one, which is a great object.

Let me know, please, whether or not you are thinking of making a bid for San Giorgi’s [sic] Stilicho and Serena jewel.Pendant and Reliquary, ca. 398–407, agate, gold, emeralds, and rubies, Musée du Louvre, Paris, acc. no. OA 9523. On one side, the names of Maria, her parents, and husband are arranged to form the chi-rho (the first two Greek letters of the name of Christ). This side reads (clockwise around a central cross): HONORI, MARIA (forming the curve of the rho), SERHNA, STELICHO. On the other side, the names of Stelicho, his wife, and children are also arranged to form the chi-rho. This side reads (clockwise around a central cross): STELICHO, SERENA (forming the curve of the rho), EUCHERI, THERMANTIA. On both sides, the horizontal bar of the cross reads: VIVATIS “May they live.” Between the two pieces of agate is earth, most likely from the Holy Land. The pendant, which had been in the Trivulzio Collection, was acquired by a member of the Montesquiou-Fezensac family, and was an anonymous gift to the Musée du Louvre on behalf of the Société des Amis du Louvre in 1951. See Kurt Weitzmann, ed., Age of Spirituality: Late Antique and Early Christian Art, Third to Seventh Century (New York: Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1979), 306, no. 279.

Much love to you both,


R. T.

I shall be leaving here for Geneva May 4th. At Geneva about a week, then perhaps London and Paris. My office here will always know whereabouts, and I’ll keep you informed as best I can.

Associated People: Giorgio Sangiorgi
Associated Places: Budapest (Hungary)
Associated Things: M. & R. Stora, Paris