Paris Apartment Remains A Mystery

Do you remember the story that broke three years ago about the abandoned Paris apartment of a Madame de Florian?

As far as I can tell the circumstances around the abandoned apartment remain a mystery to this day.

In 1939, before the outbreak of World War II and the German invasion of Paris, a young woman shuttered and closed her apartment in the 9th arrondissement near Trinite’ Church and fled for southern France…

paris bastille day 1940

 She would never return to Paris or the apartment – never – not once in 70 years even though the rent was kept meticulously current the entire time.

The apartment and its’ contents were discovered after she died, at age 91 in 2010, when her heirs were taking inventory for liquidation.

Can you imagine being the one to open this door for the first time in 70 years?…

De Florian apartment door


Upon entering, one expert said it was like “Stumbling into the castle of Sleeping Beauty, where time had stood still since 1900.”

The apartment was bequeathed to Madame de Florian by her grandmother – many of the furnishings had been there for over one hundred years.

A stuffed ostrich and a Mickey Mouse toy were among the objects…

De Florian apartment

Mickey Mouse toy in De Florian apartment

 exquisite dressing table with all of her bottles and accoutrements untouched…

dressing table in De Florian apartment

dressing table in De Florian apartment

one of the biggest mysteries and perhaps the only one that has been solved is that of this beautiful portrait…

Marthe De Florian

The portrait was proven to be Marthe de Florian, grandmother of Madame de Florian, painted by Giovanni Boldini…

Giovanni Boldini  All of the grandmother’s love letters and calling cards were found in the apartment tied with ribbons and there the note from Boldini was discovered proclaiming his love for Marthe.

Boldini’s wife’s records date the painting to 1898 when Marthe de Florian would have been 24 years old.

The painting was sold at auction for an amazing sum.

A beautiful time capsule…

De Florian apartment

whose mystery remains unsolved…

De Florian apartment

somebody please get to the bottom of this…

dog detective

 source and photos


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  1. Leslie Dement Cox says:

    Such a fascinating post…
    YOU are a “Renaissance WOMAN”!!!!!……….

    • says:

      This is so intriguing to me – it makes me want to put on my detective hat and find out why that lady never returned to her beautiful apartment. You just know that there is a major story there!

  2. This is a fascinating mystery! I can only imagine Hollywood will be coming out with a movie about it.

  3. sally randall says:

    loved this!