The Paris Time Capsule Apartment

By

9th May, 2012

A Parisian apartment left untouched for over 70 years was discovered in the quartier of Pigalle a few summers ago and I’ve been meaning to share the pictures with you. Time to unlock the vault …

20120509-160521.jpg

The owner of this apartment, Mrs. De Florian left Paris just before the rumblings of World War II broke out in Europe. She closed up her shutters and left for the South of France, never to return to the city again. Seven decades later she passed away at the age of 91. It was only when her heirs enlisted professionals to make an inventory of the Parisian apartment she left behind, that this time capsule was finally unlocked.

The team that had the honor of opening what must have been a very stiff old lock for the first time in 70 years, likened the experience to ‘stumbling into the castle of sleeping beauty’. The smell of dust, the cobwebs, the silence, was overwhelming; a once in a lifetime experience.

There is a further twist to the story. In the apartment a painting of familiar style was discovered of a beautiful woman in pink. One of the inventory team members suspected this might be a very important piece of treasure. Along with the painting, they also found stacks of old love letters tied with colored ribbon.

With some expert historical opinion, the ribbon-bound love letters were quickly recognized as the calling card of none other than Giovanni Boldini, one of Paris’ most important painters of the Belle Époque. The painting was his. The beautiful woman pictured in the painting was Mrs. de Florian’s grand-mother, Marthe de Florian, a beautiful French actress and socialite of the Belle Époque. She was Boldini’s muse. And, despite him being a married man, she was also his lover. The art world went a bit nutty for the whole story and the painting was later sold for $3 million at auction.

What I find so intriguing about this story is not so much the discovered painting and the revelation of a love affair between a great Italian painter and the beautiful actress in an enchanting era, but more the story of Mrs. de Florian and why she stayed away from Paris for so long.

What kept her away even after the war? Was she running away from someone or something other than the Nazis? For all those decades, her rent on the elegant apartment in a flourishing city had been faithfully paid, but it was left to freeze in time. It all sounds like the perfect mystery…

via The Telegraph, photos by GETTY.

:::

YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE THESE ARTICLES:

.

 

GET MESSYNESSYCHIC ARTICLES STRAIGHT TO YOUR FACEBOOK NEWSFEED OR TWITTERFEED!!

You Might Also Like

Comments

More in AbandonedNostalgiaTime travel

Hot Off the Press

Editor's Picks

magiccarpet

The Incredible Magic Carpets of Everyday Junk

After seeing this, you may never look at an empty plastic bottle or your bathroom's Q-tips in quite the same way again. Think of any mundane, everyday object lying around in your home and We Make C...

Trending 5,574
bathttime12

Kangaroo Bathtime at a New York City Madhouse

Anyone who has a pet knows that bathtime can be a rather tricky affair. But after discovering this photo story deep in the LIFE archives, giving a thorough scrub to my oversized pup now seems lik...

Trending 5,105
klm

All Aboard AirBnB’s Airplane Apartment

There's nothing 'economy' about this getaway home whose front porch also happens to be an airport boarding ramp– and a very welcoming one at that, with an orange nome waiting for you at the door....

Trending 12,722
IMG_5103_Fotor

Le P’tit Bar: A Time Capsule in Paris

At 9 meters squared, "Le P'tit Bar" is literally the most petit bar in Paris. On any evening upon first glance, it looks as if it's closing up for the night, but do not be deterred– push open the...

Trending 30,670