Battle of the Frogs - Photograph courtesy Jérôme Mondière
A late 19th-century French mansion shuttered for more than a century has opened its doors to the public, revealing an array of outdated luxuries and oddities. The house once belonged to the wealthy, philanthropic, and “egocentric” civil servant Louis Mantin, according to Maud Leyoudec, assistant curator at the new Maison Mantin, or “Mantin house.”
Mantin, who died in 1905, stated in his will that the house should be opened to the public a hundred years after his death. The mansion underwent extensive work to repair insect and mold damage before being reopened in October 2010. Located in the city of Moulins in central France, the mansion was built to resemble a seaside villa, with a wood-and-ceramics facade
Two stuffed frogs with “human attitudes” play out a miniature battle in a work by a Parisian taxidermist, Leyoudec said. Another of the mansion’s unusual objects is a stuffed rat playing the violin.
Mantin, a childless bachelor who died at 54, “was very afraid to be forgotten,” Leyoudec added.
“By giving his house to the town of Moulins, he wanted to stay in their memories,” she said. “We can say now that he has succeeded.” More - http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2011/02/pictures/110209-maison-mantin-french-time-capsule-mansion/