The team that had the honor of opening what must have been a very stiff old lock for the first time in 70 years, likened the experience to ‘stumbling into the castle of sleeping beauty’. The smell of dust, the cobwebs, the silence, was overwhelming; a once in a lifetime experience.
An apartment in Paris, locked for 70 years, was opened on the death of its owner in 2010 to reveal a perfect time capsule.
"There was a smell of old dust," said Olivier Choppin-Janvry, who made the discovery. Walking under high wooden ceilings, past an old wood stove and stone sink in the kitchen, he spotted a stuffed ostrich and a Mickey Mouse toy dating from before the war, as well as an exquisite dressing table.
And appraisers discover an unknown masterpiece by Boldini -- a painting of his muse, the apartment owner's grandmother.
I think I missed my calling as an estate appraiser.