In 1939, after learning that German troops would soon be in Paris, the 23-year-old woman left her apartment in a hurry in the French capital, is reported by kulturologia.ru.
Madame de Florian left Paris, because of fear for her life, since the city was threatened with seizure by German troops. She hurriedly collected the most necessary things, and locked the apartment with a key.
She decided to go to the south, where it was safer. Throughout her life, the woman regularly paid for utilities, but she never returned to the apartment. After her death, the heirs found out about the apartment, entering it they experienced a shock.
After the Second World War, the woman had the opportunity to return there, but for unknown reasons, she did not do it. It’s amazing that none of the relatives even knew about the existence of the apartment.
The woman died at the age of 91, and only after her death the heirs got to know about her secret.
To assess the value of things that were inside the apartment, the auctioneer Olivier Shopin-Janvri was invited. The specialist and his team were very excited, because the apartment was not opened since 1939. When the door of the apartment was opened, the auctioneer gasped.
The apartment seemed to be a frozen in time. Furniture of the 1900s, which has already become antiques, cutlery, paintings that were removed from the walls. Perhaps Madame de Florian wanted to take them, but she could not do it.
On the carved dressing table there were many cosmetic jars, hair brushes, an alarm clock. All this was covered with a layer of dust and cobwebs.
The most expensive item in the Paris apartment was a picture of a lady in a pink dress. Later, the specialists determined that this was a portrait of the previous hostess, Madame de Florian’s grandmother, Marta de Florian. In the 1880s she glittered on stage, was known as a secular lioness and had admirers among the most senior figures, including prime ministers and the president.
The portrait belonged to the brush of the Italian artist Giovanni Boldini. In the apartment also was found a letter from the painter with a declaration of love for Marta de Florian. This picture was sold for 3.4 million dollars. So it became the most expensive painting of the artist.
Relatives of Madame de Florian did not understand why she did not reveal the secret of the possession of these treasures until the end of her days.