N.R Money Editeur Paris
Second/ 'Facsimile' Edition
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Originally privately published in 1939
Not many books are devoted to a single private residence. La Leopolda, the grand French Riviera estate most recently owned by Lily Safra. This slender but attractive book, first printed in 1939 was written and published by its former owner, the great architect Ogden Codman (who co-wrote The Decoration of Houses with Edith Wharton). It includes text, b/w photos, and floor plan drawings.
“[Ogden Codman] welcomed the opportunity to build a villa that would entirely accord with his personal taste, that would repeat the style and elegance invariably found in the artistic products of the marvellous eighteenth century tradition.”
This spectacular villa named after King Leopold II of Belgium, who once owned the 18 acre estate, was built by the noted Boston society architect Ogden Codman from 1929 to 1931 which he created by assembling a number of vernacular structures and their sites in the French Riviera resort town of Villefranche-sur-Mer. It is his 'masterpiece', the finest surviving expression of his esthetic, invoking the style of the Belle Epoque. Subsequent to Gianni & Marella Agnelli, it has been owned since 1988 by Lily Safra (widow of Brazilian banker Edmond) who commissioned Renzo Mongiardino as interior designer while the second-floor bedrooms were decorated by Mica Ertegun. It has since been registered as a French 'monument historique'. It was also glamorously featured in Alfred Hitchcock's 1955 classic film 'To Catch a Thief' starring Cary Grant & Grace Kelly.