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^[[Cook Collection]]


November 28, 1950

Dear Mr. Cunningham:

I have put off replying to your letter of October 16th until I had an opportunity of seeing the cup about which I wrote you and of getting a second opinion on it; for I am very far from being an accepted authority on renaissance silverwork.

I have now seem the cup, and alas, though it is a very pretty thing, it is by no means a collector's piece, and is very far removed from any association with the great men of the Italian renaissance.  I knew as much myself, at a glance, but I recommended the owners to get the opinion of the Victoria and Albert Museum, which confirmed me up to the hilt - Austrian, mid-19th century (I had thought, French, but my date for it was the same - and the British Museum said, French, so I was not far out.)

So that is that!

I have been looking out, among the collections that I have visited from time to time, for good French paintings that might be ready to slip their moorings from their present harbour, but so far I have seen nothing worthy of note.  The Dulwich College pictures are certainly not for sale.  I have not heard that Lord Derby is selling anything except a certain amount of land.  But things turn up in a surprisingly unexpected way - like you, I am a confirmed optimist.  How good of you to bear in mind the Missing Volume TWO!

With kindest regards,

S.C. Kaines Smith (signed)

PS Mr. Seligman's visit was a great pleasure, and we are now in correspondence about some of the pictures, though I am afraid that they are not of a very exciting nature; for, as I gold you, we are not wanting to part with any of the great pictures still in the collection.  Still, I hope that we may be able to arrive at an understanding about some of those which he noted while he was here.

All my thanks.
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