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19-V-1953

Dear Mr Seligmann:

Thank you very much for your most kind letter, the photographs enclosed and the catalogue, all received yesterday morning. Quite useless to say I was most anxious to see what was on sale, and if I was a little desappointed not to find some marvels I know partially, I was on the other hand very pleased to see some other beauties most interesting to me. A pity I don't go to America before two years; I would have enjoyed having them in my hands.

When you come to Belgium, please have in mind that we wish to buy the whole collection (regretting the absence of 1 and 79). I know it is improbable but we'll see the Minister about this and other people of influence. I even wonder if it would not be a good idea to alert your Ambassador in Brussels, so that he may inform the Prime Minister there is an old Belgian collection of Art treasures (better than Manuscripts!) on sale etc.,etc. We want to have your Mss, you want to sell them, but I am not sure that the Duke would be keen on seeing them going to Belgium. Perhaps the Hours of Philippe de Clèves or those of Catherine de Clèves might be included if they are still available. 

Another propsition would be the sale of all the Flamish Mss still available. This also would mean an intervention of the Mnistry. For both cases you must have a general estimate. 

But at lest we hope to manage enough money from our own budget to buy one or to mss, if the prices are not too high. About this we'll talk when you come. By the way if an official visit of your Ambassador at the Cabinet des Manuscrits would help, quite useless to say I would be delighted to show him our splendours.

Thank you again for the photographs of the Boucicaut Hours; it is a very fine specimen, a little before 1410 I think, with a marked italian caracter that will not remain so pure in the later production. That kind of ms normaly has a good price on the market. I am personnally just as much interested in the less luxurious ones and especially in 20, 68 and 69. May I ask you for some photographs of those, without neglecting the margins, please? Put that on my account for when you come.

If you can, please let me know the day of your arrival in Brussels. If a Saturday suits you better, I can easily come to the Library to meet you there.

Very sincerely yours,
L.M.J.Delaissé
L.M.J.Delaissé

Mr G. Seligmann
5 East 57th street
New York 22

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