Moïse de Camondo

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Moïse de Camondo
Moise de camondo.jpg
Moïse de Camondo (date unknown).
Born (1860-03-15)15 March 1860
Constantinople, Ottoman Empire
Died 14 November 1935(1935-11-14) (aged 75)
Paris, France
Nationality French
Spouse(s) Irène Cahen d'Anvers (m. 1891)
Children Nissim (1892–1917)
Béatrice (1894–1944)

Count Moïse de Camondo (15 March 1860 – 14 November 1935) was an Ottoman Empire born Italian origin French banker and art collector.

As a child, Camondo moved with his family from their home in Constantinople, Ottoman Empire, to Paris where he grew up and continued his father's career as a banker. He was born into a Sephardic Jewish family that owned one of the largest banks in the Ottoman Empire, established in France since 1869.

In 1912 he completely rebuilt the family mansion on the Parc Monceau in order to house his collection of 18th century French furniture and artwork. Working closely with the architect René Sergent he created a palatial home suitable to 18th century traditions, even planning the room dimensions to match exactly the objects in his collection. The entryway is inspired by the Petit Trianon of Versailles. The home includes a kosher kitchen with separate sections for meat and dairy. The dining room includes a beautifully carved green marble fountain in the shape of a shell with a dolphin spigot for the ritual washing of hands before eating a meal.

Some highlights include a French silver service that had been ordered by Russian royal Catherine II, a set of Buffon porcelain (with exact reproductions of ornithological drawings) from the Sèvres manufacturer, and perhaps the only existing complete set of Gobelin royal tapestry sketches.

He married Irène Cahen d'Anvers, daughter of Louis Cahen d'Anvers, in 1891, and raised his two children in this home which he donated to Paris's Decorative Arts society as a museum (Musée Nissim de Camondo) in honor of the loss of his son in World War I. Following his only son's death, Camondo largely withdrew from society and devoted himself primarily to his collection and to hosting dinners for a club of gourmets at regular intervals. The museum opened the year after Moïse de Camondo died, in 1935. After the German occupation of France during World War II, his daughter, Béatrice, his son-of-law Léon Reinach and their children, Fanny and Bertrand, deported by the French, died in the Auschwitz concentration camp.[1] The Camondo family died out.

In addition to the Count's collection, the meticulously restored service areas, elevator and woodwork of the mansion are noteworthy.


Further reading[edit]

  • Le Tarnec, S.; Seni, Nora (2007). "Moïse de Camondo : D'Istanbul à Paris". In Gary, Marie-Noël de. Musée Nissim de Camondo. La demeure d'un collectionneur (in French). Paris: Arts décoratifs. pp. 20–25. ISBN 9782916914039. 

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