Have you ever buried some items in a time capsule for others to dig up far in the future and learn how you lived? I think most of us have, but few of us have the opportunity to see one open ourselves – until now! An eccentric wealthy civil servant, Louis Mantin, wrote a will stating that his house was to be closed then reopened to the public a hundred years after his death, shedding light on how people lived back in the 19th century. A veritable time capsule – albeit not of the buried sort!
Image: Jerome Mondiere
Louis Mantin’s bedroom is a jewel of opulence with its carved four poster bed, but most extreme are the walls covered in gilded leather. This material was made in 1812 and covered in silver leaf, then varnished in yellow to give it a golden look. Next, paintings created using simple colors were hung on them, generally telling a story.