As a young woman in the 1930s, Marthe de Florian lived in a flat near Paris' Trinité church, a sweet spot right between the city's Pigalle red light district and the Opera. When World War II began to roil, she fled the house for Southern France, and in the decades that passed, she never returned. When de Florian died at the age of 91 in 2010, professionals tallying up her belongings discovered her city house, now a dust-shrouded time capsule of the year she left. According to the Telegraph, those who saw it for the first time said it was like "stumbling into the castle of Sleeping Beauty, where time had stood still." Inside, they found antique furniture, a taxidermied ostrich, an old stuffed Micky Mouse, a wood stove, and a stone sink. Also therein? Lots of art, including one piece that turned out to be worth $2.75M.
One of the people who unlocked the house in 2010, Olivier Choppin-Janvry, spotted a tableau of a woman in pink and "his heart missed a beat." The painting turned out to be an original by Italian portrait painter Giovanni Boldini, who found a muse in Marthe de Florian, an actress and the grandmother of the recently deceased Mrs. de Florian. In all, the painting sold for €2.1 million, or $2.746M.
· Parisian flat containing €2.1 million painting lay untouched for 70 years [Telegraph]
· The Paris Time Capsule Apartment [Messy Nessy Chic via Design You Trust]