Letters to Camondo by Edmund de Waal - review by Gillian Tindall

Gillian Tindall

After Hours in the Museum

Letters to Camondo

By

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Edmund de Waal is an internationally known potter, but through investigative energy and a sense of obligation he has also become the chronicler of his Jewish ancestors. In his acclaimed The Hare with Amber Eyes (2010), he makes a collection of small Japanese carved figures, acquired in Paris in the 1870s and passed down in the Viennese branch of the family, into tokens of survival in the face of loss and destruction.

Now, in Letters to Camondo, he explores a more distant family connection, casting the Musée Nissim de Camondo in Paris as a symbol of both achievement and transience. Nissim, named after a grandfather from Constantinople who became a hugely successful banker, was the only son of Count Moïse de Camondo.

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