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A Paris Jewel... Musée Nissim de Camondo

One of P'Niche's favorite things is discovering (and sharing) little gems hiding in plain sight. Let's take a P'Niche peek at one tiny jewel box of a museum...

Just steps from P'Niche's fave place in the world, le Parc Monceau (in fact overlooking certain parts of the park), you can find a stunning museum that is part of the larger Musée des Arts Décoratifs Paris group.

With a story both haunting and tragic, yet boasting luxury beyond measure, let's make a thought provoking visit to le Musée Nissim de Camondo.

What sets this museum apart is that it was, in fact, a hotel particulier (a private mansion), designed by architect René Sergent, commissioned by its owner - le Comte Moïse de Camondo, with construction lasting from 1911-1914.

The (now divorced) Comte was an incredibly wealthy banker, with a keen passion for collecting, as well as the arts and craftsmanship of the 18th century. With a wink to the opulence of Versailles, he created his home with love and care, and an overwhelming attention to quality and detail.

As a backdrop to all of the sumptuous objets d'art he was accumulating, the finest of antique wood and wood paneling as sourced from expert carpenters ad cabinet makers with those who also supplied goods to French royal families and aristocracy. Being a Count himself, this indulgence made sense. He showcased royal mementos like a sewing desk created for Marie Antoinette's apartments, as well as a folding screen set for Louis XVI's own gaming rooms.

Additional royal artifacts include Marie Antoinette's pair of wood and gilt bronze vases. Sets of Russia's Empress Catherine II's Orloff Silver service decorate the dining tables.

Throughout the mansion are scattered carpets and tapestries produced within Paris' Gobelins factory - yep - where the Teddy Bears of today hail from...

All of this was created to leave behind a glorious legacy of art to his children.

Son, Nissim de Camondo, was named after his grandfather. When World War I (The Great War) broke out, Nissim voluntarily enlisted in l'Aéronautique Militaire (France's Air Force). Sadly, he was killed in action in 1917, leaving behind a bereft father and sister, and all of the glories curated on his behalf.

While, by all accounts, Moïse, le Comte Nissim de Camondo never fully recovered his son's wartime death, he did continue to add to the home's collections, acquiring several of Elizabeth Vigée Le Brun's stunning portraits.

One of P'Niche's favorites artists, we will be detailing the incredible life of this artist next week, so we hope you will subscribe to join us back here in the Parisian Niche.

Other collectibles include much Sèvres porcelain, the needlepoint chairs and works by craftsmen of the Garde-Meuble de la Couronne (the Royal Furniture Repository). Collecting until his passing in 1936 - he bequeathed the property to le Musée des Arts Décoratifs, naming it in honor of his son, le Musée Nissim de Camondo.

Now, Moïse, had, in fact, two children. In addition to Nissim, he had a daughter,

Béatrice. During Word War II's occupation, Béatrice felt, that due to her brother's bravery in World War I, she and her family would be safe, remaining in Paris.

Adding to the family tragedy, due to the cooperation of the Vichy government, Béatrice, her former husband, Léon Reinach and two children Fanny and Bertrand were arrested and sent to the concentration camp at Auschwitz.

It's difficult for P'Niche to even put words to how tragic it is that the entire remaining family was put to death in this camp.

Given that Nissim did not survive to produce an heir and that Béatrice and her two children were killed, this effectively ended the Camondo family line.

It's a horrific and ugly ending for a family dedicated to the pursuit of sharing beauty.

Due to Moïse's incredible forethought and generosity, we are able to experience this mansion in it's exact and stunning state - maintained impeccably.

You may enjoy the three floors of this museum, where you begin in the blue drawing room, the decadent library, near Moïse and Nissim's personal apartments.

On the second floor, you discover the gallery, the study, a salon, the drawing room and the stunning room. Do not forget to pause and explore the incredible porcelain room.

The lower level houses the kitchen, the servant's dining room as well as the Chef's personal office.

In modern pop culture, le Musée Nissim de Camondo lends out her rooms (as well as garden areas and rooftop) theatrically, as the home of the incredibly wealthy (fictitious) Pellegrini family, who are featured in the wildly successful (and addictive) Netflix series, Lupin.

Seriously, Netflix, when can we expect more Lupin to stream?!

All Lupin lightheartedness aside, this residence is meant to be visited in reverence and remembrance. They cycle a brief film at the museum detailing more of the life, times, and history of the family that P'Niche truly recommends taking the time to experience.

Heading over to see le Musée Nissim de Camondo for yourself? Lovely!

63, rue de Monceau (75008)

Métro: Villiers (Line 2, 3)

Monceau (Line 2)

Bus: Lines 30, 84, 94

Hours: Wed - Sun 10:00am - 5:30pm

Closed: Mondays & Tuesdays

Tickets: €9

So, P'Nicher, are you ready to head over to this jewel box of history to see such beauty in person? Have you already been? Let us know in the comments below et à bientôt!


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2 comentários

Joyce J. Adams
Joyce J. Adams
18 de abr.

Christina, well written article. It is on my list after speaking to you and after reading your wonderful article! Joyce


Debra Borchert
Debra Borchert
09 de abr.

Another Gem to be visited. Thank you again for your wonderful writing and insights.

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