Royall Tyler to Mildred Barnes Bliss, December 23, 1936

Hôtel de Crillon

Place de la Concorde

Paris

23.XII.36

You’ll smile, dearest Mildred, when after having told you that I hoped you wouldn’t buy anything for the present, I now take up my pen to recommend to you two objects Stora has shown me:

a) A little Byz. XIe cent. ivory of Doubting ThomasBZ.1937.7. about to touch the wounded side of Christ—one of a series to which the Res. of LazarusThe Raising of Lazarus, Byzantine, mid-tenth century, ivory, Bode Museum, Museum für Spätantike und Byzantinische Kunst, Berlin, acc. no. 578. These ivory panels are from an icon with the Twelve Great Feasts. in the K. FriedrichThe Kaiser-Friedrich-Museum, Berlin, now the Bode Museum. belongs. Reproduced by GoldschmidtAdolph Goldschmidt (1863–1944), a Jewish German art historian. in Byz. Elfenbeinskulpturen,Adolph Goldschmidt and Kurt Weitzmann, Die byzantinischen Elfenbeinskulpturen des X.–XIII. Jahrhunderts, vol. 2, Reliefs (Berlin: Bruno Cassirer, 1934). Vol. II, 15, Tafel IV. It was in the Germanisches Museum at Nuremberg,Germanisches Nationalmuseum, a museum founded in 1852 in Nuremberg, Germany and has been sold thence, presumably because not Nordic. As the Limburg stavrothekReliquary of the True Cross (Staurotheke), Byzantine, ca. 960, gold, gems, and enamel, Cathedral Museum, Limburg an der Lahn. isn’t exactly Nordic either. . . . .!!! It is of very fine style, and the price asked might be reduced—anyway it’s not bad (Sw. Fr. 15000).

b) A jasper sanguine cameo of St. John Chrysostom,This cameo of Saint John Chrysostom has not been identified. In a letter to Robert Woods Bliss, dated December 26, 1936, Maurice Stora described the cameo as “I camée jaspe sanguine, XIIe siècle, dont on demande 25,000 francs français.” (Blood jasper cameo of the 12th century, for which 25,000 French francs is asked.) Byzantine Collection dealer files, M. & R. Stora correspondence. once in the old BaudotHenri Baudot (1799–1880), a lawyer, collector, and president of the Commission des antiquités du department de la Côte-d’Or. Coll., Dijon, and mentioned by MillinAubin-Louis Millin de Grandmaison (1759–1818), a French antiquary who was curator of the Cabinet des Médailles et Antiques of the Bibliothèque impériale in Paris. (1817).Aubin-Louis Millin, Pierres gravées inédites tirées des plus célèbres cabinets de l’Europe, vol. 1 1 (Paris: Bureau des annals encyclopédiques, 1817). One corner broken, but very fine indeed. Price asked, 30,000 Fr. Fr. Might get a reduction, but even at that, I’d get it if I were you.

Stora also had (not belonging to him) a very showy sardonyx à trois couches“Three-layer.” cameo, Byz., a standing Virgin, of the Platytera type,Image of the Virgin with Christ depicted in her womb; platytera signifies “more spacious” because in bearing Christ, the Virgin’s womb became more spacious. from the old Baron RogerBaron Salomon Louis Roger de Sivry (1765–1841), a French collector. Coll.,See Catalogue des intailles, camées, marbres et bronzes, provenant en partie de l'ancienne collection du baron Roger (1841), et dont la vente, par suite du décès de Mme la B.onne Roger de Sivry, aura lieu, à Paris (Paris: Paul Chevallier, 1904). said to have been given him by the Tsar a century or so ago. Price asked Fr. Fr. 175,000. Far, far too much. I like the Baudot St. John Chrysostom better.

Impressions I’ve gathered here aren’t bad. I think BlumAndré Léon Blum (1872–1950), a French politician, usually identified with the moderate left, and a three-time prime minister of France. is doing well, on the whole. He may get turned out by the Senate over compulsory arbitration:The senate passed Blum’s compulsory arbitration law. I hope not, but even if he does, I don’t think things are going to crack up. He might be followed by a DaladierÉdouard Daladier (1884–1970), a French Radical politician who became the prime minister of France at the start of the Second World War.-ChautempsCamille Chautemps (1885–1963), a French Radical politician and three-time prime minister of France. combine, going to the right as far as Paul ReynaudPaul Reynaud (1878–1966), a French politician and lawyer during the interwar period. Reynaud was noted for his economic liberalism and militant opposition to Germany. In 1940, he became the prime minister of France. and perhaps FlandinPierre Étienne Flandin (1889–1958), a French conservative politician of the Third Republic, a leader of the Democratic Republican Alliance, and a prime minister of France from November 1934 to May 1935.—and some people think Blum himself might take a portefeuille“Portfolio”: the post and the responsibilities of a cabinet minister or other head of a government department. in it. Daladier’s prestige very high, on account of the way he has kept the array together, and prevented the Communists from interfering: the HumanitéL'Humanité, the former daily newspaper, founded in 1904 and linked to the French Communist Party (PCF). and other Com. papers banned from the barracks, etc.

Well, all this will be old news by the time my letter reaches you.

I’m just about to take the train back to Pest.

Much love,

Yrs

R. T.

 
Associated Places: Paris (France)
Associated Things: M. & R. Stora, Paris
Associated Artworks: BZ.1937.7