Deep in the 9th district of Paris, an apartment sat in silence, awaiting the return of its owner for 70 years.
In 1942, a young Madame de Florian, an aristocratic French woman, fled her apartment in fear of the war descending on Paris. It was not until de Florian’s death at age 91 that her granddaughter discovered the apartment’s existence and treasures that lied within.
When auctioneers visited the apartment to appraise the family’s estate, they were amazed to find a perfect time-capsule of upper-class Parisian life from the Belle Époque era.
Among the priceless relics were furnishings, vintage stuffed animals, even a taxidermy ostrich. Though the most valuable find was a portrait of de Florian’s grandmother, Marthe de Florian, painted in 1888 by famed Italian artist, Giovanni Boldini. It sold at auction for 2.1 million euros.
The mystery of this apartment pervades as its exact location is unknown in order to protect its contents and the family’s privacy.
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