Thursday, September 24, 2015

Priceless Art Found In Paris Apartment Vacant Since 1939


Priceless Art Found In Paris Apartment Vacant Since 1939

In 1939, a Parisian apartment was locked up and abandoned. Seventy years later, an auctioneer stumbled into a mysterious glimpse of the past and a multi-million dollar work of art.

Leaving her lavish apartment must have been disheartening for 23-year old Madame de Florian. It was the beginning of World War 11, and she probably received word that the German soldiers were marching toward Paris.



Though she continued to pay rent for the rest of her life, this lovely lady would never return to her glamorous apartment again. She died in 2010, at the age of 91. 
It was after Madame de Florian's death that her heirs first learned of the apartment. They hired Olivier Choppin-Janvry, an auctioneer, to inventory the apartment's furnishings. Considering the years that had passed since the last time the apartment was occupied, Olivier and his team probably experienced some apprehension as the last bolt was unlocked, and they entered.    

The furnishings displayed treasures from the early 1900's. The dining area was still fully supplied with dishes, glassware, and other dining essentials. Works of art had been removed from the walls, as if they were being prepared for transport with the owner running short of time.


This intricately designed, ornate vanity table still contained brushes, makeup and perfume bottles, appearing as if it were still waiting for the return of it's elegant owner.

In a corner, original Micky Mouse and Porky Pig dolls were reflective of that historical period. Walt Disney would be pleased.


The most shocking and intriguing discovery was a painting of a beautiful woman in a pink evening gown. Further investigation revealed that the woman was the apartments previous occupant , Marthe de Florian, who just so happened to be Madame de Florian's grandmother. 


The artist was not immediately known. A later discovery concluded the work was painted by a well-known Italian painter from the Belle Epoque period - Giovanni Boldini


Marthe de Florian was a well know Parisian actress, living a very lavish lifestyle as a "high-society" girl in the 1880's. A collection of love letters, tied with various colored ribbons, was found in the apartment and evidence of her many famous suitors, including several Prime Ministers and Presidents of France.

The disarray left in the apartment was understandable - especially with the circumstances of WWII probably being the cause of her hasty departure. However, predominate questions remain. Why would she choose to never return? And, why would she methodically continue to pay rent for the next seventy years?  


Opening such a treasure chest of collectibles after such a lengthy time had passed must have been quite and experience. Hopefully, the family will release more information someday, but until then the answers for the rest of the story will remain a mystery.

Monday, September 21, 2015

French Decor

French Décor for the Bedroom

French décor’s presence in the bedroom is one of romance, luxury, large furniture and color. Be sure to draw some inspiration from nature and its likely you’ve achieved perfection. French décor allows you to introduce many features into your bedroom in bold ways that most other types of décor generally don’t. The trick is to not go overboard. My advice is to start your project by selecting your color scheme.

French décor uses a broad range of colors, including various shades of reds, blues, yellows and greens. Use one or two colors (at the most) for your primary colors and compliment them with a white or an off white as an accent color. Traditionally, French décor calls for lighter or neutral colors as the primary wall color. However, today it is very much in fashion to use darker colors. A shade of blue, such as blue toile, is a decent color for a French inspired bedroom because blue is a relaxing color which will bring serenity to your bedroom. You can also use a golden yellow or burgundy as your main wall color.

Once you have chosen your color theme, you should decide on the type of furniture, its size and placement that you wish to place in your room. Remember that large, bold furniture is part of what makes French décor so luxurious. Choose a large bed with big headboard that will be used as the centerpiece of the bedroom. While the rest of the furniture should also be large, there should not be too many pieces in the room. A chest of drawers or an armoire is a good choice. If your bedroom is big enough, you can add a rich loveseat as well.

The material that is used for the bed, as well as the rest of the furniture, should be wood. The wood that is used in French décor is either going to be of a dark color or painted in an off white color. The wood should have some sort of carving added to it. At times, you may also find some gold color metal in addition to the carvings. You can complement the dark wood with a dark wall color or white wood with a light color. Feel free to hand paint some flowers or sceneries on the chest drawers to bring some additional color and romance to the bedroom.

Mirrors are a good way to continue the tradition of going large in French Décor. Use a large mirror to make the room appear bigger.

When it comes to curtains, yours should reach from the ceiling to the floor and be made from a rich, thick fabric. Tie the curtains back to let light in and create a more dramatic effect. The color of the drapes should match your bedding and your furniture in order to maintain the color theme.

Add a couple of paintings to the bedroom. Rococo or Baroque themes work best with French décor. Ideal images include those that emphasize nature or people having a nice time.

The final touch to your French inspired bedroom is going to be dazzling bedding. Your bedding should have some shine and luster to it to create a dramatic and welcoming effect. Use white or cream colored sheets to set off a beautiful duvet. Gold, sky blue, white, burgundy and gold are popular colors to construct themes in French décor bedding. Use a lot of big pillows and neck rolls to complete the effect.

While French décor permits you an abundance of freedom to experiment using many variables such as color, texture and patterns in your bedroom, it is very important to not get carried away and be too excessive in your décor. This can make the room appear cluttered and overdone. Have fun decorating and enjoy your new French themed bedroom!

R. Jabbour & Sons first opened its doors in New York City over 80 years ago. Passed through four generations of family, R. Jabbour & Sons continues to be a trusted and highly knowledgeable resource for the finest bed, bath, and table linens. Its loyal following of customers rely on the utmost attention to detail and service.