In 1942, a 23-year-old woman known only by the name of Madame de Florian fled Paris to be clear of the Nazi invasion of France. She locked up the apartment she had inherited from her grandmother and made for the southern free zone. De Florian died in 2010, having never returned from the south of France, paying her rent and the upkeep of the apartment during the nearly 70 years that followed.
The apartment came as a surprise to de Florian's family, and so they hired an auctioneer to inventory its contents. What they found inside was like opening a giant time capsule that had been sealed since the Belle Epoque.
Madame de Florian’s vanity remained untouched, complete with lotions and perfumes that haven’t been used in ages. In the corner of the same room, stuffed animals of Mickey Mouse and Porky Pig lay on the floor waiting for a child to come back and play with them.
Hanging in one of the rooms is a painting of Madame de Florian’s mother, Marthe. After the auctioneer looked at it closer, he realized the painting was made by a famous Italian painter known as Giovanni Boldini. A painting of Boldini’s self-portrait reached $3.4 million alone. It is believed that Marthe and Boldini were secret lovers, which brought the prices of the paintings up even more.
Head over to Vintage News to read more and check out a video explainer of de Florian's apartment below.
Feature image via YouTube/ObsoleteOddity