Thursday, September 28, 2017

A Belle Époque Apartment Untouched for 70 Years

When they unlocked the doors to the Paris apartment, it was like discovering King Tut's tomb.

The rooms had been sealed up since World War II when its owner fled to the south of France, and her descendant kept up the rent payments.

Filled with exotic furnishings, it was a time capsule of the of life of a glamorous socialite and actress from the Belle Époque named Marthe de Florian.

Among the treasures in the apartment was an unknown portrait of the actress by one of her lovers, Giovanni Boldini, accompanied by a love note and a visiting card from the artist. When the painting went to auction it fetched three million Euros, a record for the artist.
Read More:
Wikipedia: Marthe de Florian
Telegraph article: Parisian flat containing €2.1 million painting lay untouched for 70 years
Online article: This Lavish Apartment was Discovered Untouched for 70 Years
Novel based on the discovery: A Paris Apartment: A Novel


A Colonel of Truth said...


Celia said...

Wonderful, I'd like to see that.

David Webb said...

There was a pub in Devon, the Valiant Soldier, which closed it's doors in 1965. It was very popular during World War Two and was a regular for many American serviceman who were based in the area around Buckfastleigh. When it closed, the owners still lived upstairs but the pub below was locked and remained untouched for thirty years. When it was opened up it was clear that it had been left exactly as it was, with unwashed glasses, old currency in the till and even some wine and beer stashed behind the bar.
It has since become a museum and heritage centre.

David Apatoff said...

How is it possible that this apartment escaped the bombs, the occupying Nazis, local thieves and vandals, inquisitive neighbors and avaricious landlords? We read about all of the Jews and gays and underground fighters who couldn't hide successfully from the Nazis in abandoned sheds or holes in the ground; they should have hidden in swanky, ostentatious apartments instead.