Louis Mantin appears to have stepped right out of Against Nature, the wonderfully decadant novel about a Frenchman who desires only to live in solitude with his beautiful things. This week Mantin’s chateau was opened to the public 105 years after his death. Mantin had no children and in his will, requested the house be sealed for 100 years and then re-opened. In true French fashion, his wish was granted, just five years late.
Of course this in not the first French property that has been unearthed after many years, but I do believe this one is distinct in the owner’s desire. A wonderful Parisian apartment was discoved untouched since the 1940s, however, this was left for so long moreso due to the disinterest Parisians show towards their old people than any will or final wish. No, the woman did not die in the apartment (however I would not put it past the Parisians), she went on vacation, never came home, and her wonderful collection sat for about 70 years. Apparently no relatives, neighbors or officials wondered about the apartment or any of her things. See more about this here.
But this one is different. There is something quite romantic about a gentleman considering his collection and arranging everything ‘just so’ before death. Very Victorian, very French. And who can question the taste of someone with such a great hat? And no, I am not making fun, I do wish men would take up the hat fashion again. Alas, this seems not be in the cards in the near future.