A tragic family history told in a collection of imaginary letters to a famed collector, Moise de Camondo.
Consistently illuminating… considered, compassionate and appreciative… This book is a wonderful tribute to a family and to an idea ~ Guardian
Immerses you in another age… de Waal creates a dazzling picture of what it means to live graciously ~ Financial Times
Letters to Camondo by Edmund de Waal
63 rue de Monceau, Paris
As you may have guessed by now, I am not in your house by accident. I know your street rather well.
Count Moïse de Camondo lived a few doors away from Edmund de Waal’s forebears, the Ephrussi, first encountered in his bestselling memoir The Hare with Amber Eyes. Like the Ephrussi, the Camondos were part of belle époque high society. They were also targets of anti-semitism.
Camondo created a spectacular house and filled it with the greatest private collection of French eighteenth-century art for his son to inherit. But when Nissim was killed in the First World War, it became a memorial and, on the Count’s death, was bequeathed to France.
The Musée Nissim de Camondo has remained unchanged since 1936. Edmund de Waal explores the lavish rooms and detailed archives and uncovers new layers to the family story. In a haunting series of letters addressed to the Count, he tells us what happened next.