Rue de monceau

From family home to mausoleum: the Musée Nissim Camondo

The potter and author Edmund de Waal revisits familiar terrain at an angle in his third book, Letters to Camondo. Ten years after the publication of his debut memoir, The Hare with Amber Eyes, he is once again in Paris, lurking about the rue de Monceau, ruminating on dust, trying to make the dead speak. He’s particularly keen to elicit a word from Count Moïse de Camondo (1860-1935), the last patriarch of a clan of absurdly rich French Jewish bankers with roots in Constantinople. The count was a friend and neighbour of de Waal’s cousin, the art historian Charles Ephrussi, whose collection of Japanese netsuke played such a large role