And here are a few more pieces from de Waal's netsuke collection.
The book is wonderful. It is written with so much love. And the descriptions of the buildings of 19th century Paris and Vienna are gorgeous. I loved this passage
"But nothing compares to the mansion built by the chocolate magnate Emile-Justin Mernier. It was a building so splendidly excessive, so eclectic in its garnished decorations, glimpsed above its high walls, that Zola's description of it as 'an opulent bastard of every style' still seems about right."