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1 books of de Waal, Edmund

The Ephrussis were a grand banking family, as rich and respected as the Rothschilds, who “burned like a comet” in nineteenth-­century Paris and Vienna society. Yet by the end of World War II, almost the only thing remaining of their vast empire was a collection of 264 wood and ivory carvings, none of them larger than a matchbox.­The renowned ceramicist Edmund de Waal became the fifth generation to inherit this small and exquisite collection of netsuke. Entranced by their beauty and mystery, he determined to trace the story of his family through the story of the collection.­The netsuke—drunken monks, almost-­ripe plums, snarling tigers—were gathered by Charles Ephrussi at the height of the Parisian rage for all things Japanese. Charles had shunned the place set aside for him in the family business to make a study of art, and of beautiful living. An early supporter of the Impressionists, he appears, oddly formal in a top hat, in Renoir’s Luncheon of the Boating Party. Marcel Proust . . .

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Books of de Waal, Edmund