Wednesday, September 10, 2014
A Book I am Going to Press into All of Your Hands
A couple of weeks ago, I posted a quotation from Edmund de Waal's The Hare with Amber Eyes. I have finished the book, and now I am going to quietly, insistently, suggest that you pick up a copy and read it yourself.
De Waal, a famous ceramicist and the son of an Anglican priest, is also a grandson of the Ephrussi family, Jewish grain merchants and bankers who became fabulously wealthy in the 19th century. They built palaces in Paris, Odessa, Vienna, Switzerland. Charles Ephrussi, art collector and connoisseur, was one of the models for Charles Swann.
The author inherited a collection of 264 Japanese netsuke, tiny sculptures used to attach small containers to men's clothing, from his great-uncle Ignace Leo von Ephrussi. Fascinated by the netsuke, he traced their history, and his family's, from the early19th century to the present. He is a marvelous writer telling a riveting and very moving story.
Read it. You won't regret it.