A beautiful Parisian apartment was discovered preserved exactly how it was when its owner left it 70 years ago. When finally opened, the apartment revealed to contain not only magnificent French décor, but also treasures like valuable paintings. It was like discovering a treasure chest, only if the chest was stylish and probably a bit dustier.
Discoveries like this apartment help us further understand the lives of those who lived before us. It’s easy to read about them in books or watch recreations in documentaries or a historical fiction series, but to see a piece of history up close is truly magical; it’s like having a window to the past. We always hear about old shipwrecks and tombs that preserve such stories for us, but an apartment is something unique, and we usually don’t associate it with containing preserved history. Usually, old apartments are refurbished and rented out again. However, due to this place’s unique circumstances, we were able to take a glimpse inside a Parisian socialite’s life before World War II.
The apartment once belonged to Parisian actress and socialite, Marthe de Florian. The apartment was probably abandoned during World War II when de Florian was escaping Nazi raids. Since then, neither she nor her descendants returned to her apartment—leaving it exactly how it was before she fled. Month after month the rent was paid, so no one else has opened the apartment’s door since de Florian last touched it. Inside, many treasures were found such as a painting by 19th century Italian artist, Giovanni Boldini. The painting features who appears to be de Florian around the age of 24, and love letters between the two were found in the apartment—suggesting a love affair.
The apartment is currently closed off to the public, although that can change in time once the heirs to it have inventoried all their predecessor’s possessions. Perhaps one day it will be turned into a museum, but the apartment has to be carefully arranged to preserve it’s time capsule feel. If you happen to pass by the 9th arrondissement in Paris, the apartment might be available for viewing soon.
Through the dust and the stuffy air, we were able to discover a new story of love and luxury in an apartment in Paris. Although some items may seem mundane, each object de Florian once possessed gives us a glimpse into what her live must’ve been like. Who knows, maybe one day your apartment will be discovered by your predecessors to learn about what life was like in the 21st century.