Robert Woods Bliss to Royall Tyler, August 28, 1934 [2]

August 28, 1934.

Dear Royall:

There are before me your three letters of July 22, August 10 and August 11 for answer and thanks.

Last week the textileBZ.1934.1. from Sangiorgi arrived. Mildred was in New York at the time, but with great exertion of restraint I awaited her return before opening it. It is indeed a snorter, and we are enchanted, and also most grateful to you for the trouble you took in wheedling the owner on it. Since then a very exciting thing has happened, for we have just purchased, without seeing the original, another fragmentBZ.1934.2. of the Nereids.BZ.1932.1. Madame MallonMadame Mallon was the wife of the dealer Paul Mallon. (I think her husband is ill or away from Paris) came running to Melle. MalyeThérèse Malye (1866–1951) was Mildred Barnes Bliss’s secretary in Paris. to say that they knew of another piece of our tapestry, and Melle. Malye brought over a full size sketch of it. I think I will send you the photograph which I have subsequently received from Madame Mallon, if you will kindly return it. We are now breathlessly awaiting its arrival to see just how we can piece it on to what we already have.

Excitements do not seem to be lacking in our lives these days, for the second volumeL’art byzantin. has arrived. I have not yet read the text, but the plates are excellect, and I most heartily congratulate you. Not by way of criticism, but just to point out errors that will creep in to such a monumental work, you will find the lapis lazuli shell with the adorable little Venus of our Collier,BZ.1928.6. illustrated (under 154b) with the description “Collier. Laine et or”.“Necklace. Wool and gold.” In the text (page 119) this quaint error does not appear. I am keen to have the time to read the text and profit therefrom. The photograph of the CaliceBZ.1955.18. is excellent, and makes me homesick to see it. In showing the book to an unsophisticated young lady a few nights ago, she was charmed by the Calice and thought it the outstanding object of all those illustrated.

I concur with you that the cover is excellent, although I do not feel that you can surpass that of volume I.

We are awaiting with interest the communication from Stora with details regarding the Consular Diptych.BZ.1935.4.a–b. It will interest you to know that I received a letter five days ago from Mr. Byk,Paul M. Byk (1887–1946), an employee of Arnold Seligmann, Rey and Co., New York. of Arnold Seligman [sic] and Company, reminding me that he had told me in New York, just before sailing for Europe two or three months ago, that he thought there was a chance of getting the Trivulzio ivory,BZ.1935.4.a–b. but nothing more was said of it at the time. His letter says that it now “seems available”, and quotes a huge sum which he says might possibly be reduced if a firm offer were made. We shall await developments.

We are also looking forward to receiving from Sangiorgi the photographs of the stuffs which you mention in your letter of August 11. And by the way, Madame MallonMadame Mallon was the wife of the dealer Paul Mallon. also sends me the photograph of a small fragmentThis textile is referenced and a photograph is included in a letter from Marguerite Mallon to Mildred Barnes Bliss, August 13, 1934. Byzantine Collection, Mallon correspondence file. with a Coufique inscription which she thinks is the name of Mouizz, the first Fatimide Calif, who died in 365.The Fatimid Caliphate was a Shia Muslim caliphate that had made Egypt the center of its rule over the Mediterranean coast of Africa. The dynasty was founded in 909 by Abdullah al-Mahdi Billah (873–934). The Calif al-Mouiz li-Din Allah (932–975) ruled in Egypt between 969 and 975 (358–365 in the Islamic calendar). It was al-Mouiz who conquered Egypt and made the newly founded al-Qāhiratu, or Cairo, his capital in 969. If you are in Paris in the near future you might have a look at it, as the price is not high should the stuff really be of interest. From the photograph,This textile is referenced and a photograph is included in a letter from Marguerite Mallon to Mildred Barnes Bliss, August 13, 1934. Byzantine Collection, Mallon correspondence file. it does not appeal to me particularly.

Today a letter came from Elisina to Mildred (which I forwarded on to her in California) with an account of Bill’s wedding.See letter of August 18, 1934. I am delighted it passed off so well. We are looking forward eagerly to having the bridal couple with us here.

Today I took the liberty of telegraphing you a request to look at the Byzantine bronze lampThis lamp has not been identified. In a letter to Robert Woods Bliss dated August 7, 1934, Dimitri de Gourko describes the Byzantine lamp as bronze, fifth century, and recently found in Constantinople near the Hippodrome. The price asked was 25,000 francs. Byzantine Collection, D. de Gourko correspondence file. which has been offered me by old General Gourko. The photograph seems to show a rather fine object, but neither Mildred nor I are sure enough that it is one we really need, so I have again turned to you for advice, and hope you will not think this an imposition.

With much love, in which Mildred would join were she here,


Associated People: Giorgio Sangiorgi