The house of Charles Carpin

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Charles Carpin was the son of an industrialist who had made his fortune producing manhole covers. When Charles was born, his father had already stopped working and was living off his investments. Charles was the richest of the group, with a large apartment overlooking the Jardin du Luxembourg and – above all – an incredible view of the Eiffel Tower.

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He fell in love with Suzanne the first time he laid eyes on her in the Jardin du Luxembourg, despite the fact they were both still children, and this love continued to grow as they did. Very quickly, he understood that his parents would not allow him to marry the daughter of simple shopkeeper, and for a while he entertained the idea of eloping with Suzanne. Unfortunately, his plan did not come to pass – Suzanne left without notice to the United States.

Heartbroken, he married the extravagant Odette who had been pursuing him for years. Their marriage was not a happy one, despite appearances.

Charles had met Pierre Jeanneret through his father and had been fascinated by architecture and design since his teenage years. The 1925 Salon de Arts Décoratifs was a veritable revelation for him.

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He managed to persuade his father to have a house built for him, and met with the architect Mallet Stevens (and Le Corbusier) several times. The project began to take form, and Charles considered designing the furniture for the house himself, but the financial crash of 1929 put a stop to everything – a lot of his father’s money was in stock and shares, and this fortune was suddenly and seriously affected. Although Charles’ family did not lose the apartment overlooking the Jardin du Luxembourg, severe belt-tightening was necessary to make ends meet.

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Charles continued designing furniture and drawing concepts for cars, some of which came to fruition. He also had some of his designs published in the magazine Artisan Pratique over a number of years.

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When World War II started, he enlisted himself in the army and became a decorated officer.

Returning home in late 1945, after helping to liberate a number of camps in Germany, he was happy to be back in the family apartment and see Odette, with whom he had still not fathered any children. The couple lived together for a few more years, but mostly spent their time separated on different floors.

Much like his father, Charles lived off his private incomes, and their finances slowly improved thanks to his father’s efforts.

Suzanne continued writing to him during all those years of absence, and even managed to get letters to him during the war.

In the early 1950s, Charles divorced Odette and disappeared with leaving a forwarding address.



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