On our one of our last days in Paris we visited the splendid Musee Nissim de Camondo, a grand example of gracious living in early 20th Century Paris. Built in 1911 by the Comte Moïse de Camondo, a French banker and collector of 18th century furnishings and decorative arts. This glorious home, mansion by American terms, in well preserved original condition is a treat for anyone who loves history and historic architecture. Patterned after the Petit Trianon the latest in modernity made this some home in the early 1900’s. The home was bequeathed to Les Arts Décoratifs in 1935 in honor of his son Nissim de Camondo who was killed in World War I. Our tour starts with the ground floor kitchen. One can’t help by marvel over this massive oven and stove. The entire kitchen is tile. But do you know why they tiled the ceiling? Apparently to keep the noise from going upstairs to the living and dining areas. As we walk up the opulent staircase and float through the rooms one begins to notice the abundance of rounded corners. Can you imagine asking your contractor to make you a curved wood door? Oh and of course we want the bottom of the door to match the marble molding in the opposing room. It is hard to imagine this level of craftsmanship and detail in a modern home. Wow was it fabulous. Oh yes, they lived in color in Paris. Look at all the turquoise! Here we see balance at work, what you don’t see is this just one of a pair of cabinets with other sets of turquoise porcelain on display. What I wouldn’t give for a Sevres table made of fine French porcelain and precision marquetry, absolutely stunning. Back when children were seen not heard and taught not to run through the house at will… Of course a house like this has a porcelain room filled with Sevres and other fine porcelain, no different than Marjorie Merriweather Post’s Hillwood. What I found really amazing was the size of the bathrooms, all done in tile. This beautiful Parisian home was full of generous details such as this handle for open and closing the French doors overlooking the private backyard on adjoining park.
If you are planning a trip to Paris be sure to schedule time to see this wonderful Parisian home. Let the Musee Nissim de Camondo transport you to another time.