A time capsule apartment in Paris

A remarkable discovery was unearthed in Paris’ 9th arrondissement recently when an apartment left untouched since WWII welcomed its first visitors in 70 years. The owner, one Madame de Florian, had fled the apartment at the onset of WWII for the south of France, never to return, though she faithfully paid rent for the 70-year interim. Mme de Florian’s recent passing at age 91 in 2010 induced her heirs to take stock of the Paris apartment, an experience dubbed as “stumbling into the castle of Sleeping Beauty,” with its treasure trove of beautiful furniture and vintage toys and various objets d’art. A painting by Italian artist Giovanni Boldini, an important painter during Paris’ Belle Époque- of Madame de Florian’s grandmother, Marthe de Florian (an actress, socialite, and lover to Boldini)- was discovered amongst the belongings, eventually selling at auction for €2.1 million.

Below, a series of photos of this time capsule apartment to inspire wonder and awe.


Dressing table with assorted toiletries.

Stuffed ostrich and pre-WWII era Mickey Mouse toy.

The dining room.

A close-up of Mickey.

Marthe de Florian, age 24, circa 1898, by Giovanni Boldini.

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