The Hare With the Amber Eyes
After seeing the incredibly serene work made by Edmund de Waal, sit back for an amazing story.
When his great uncle Iggie Ephrussi died, artist Edmund inherited 264 netsukes, Japanese miniature sculptures. Always curious, De Waal took it upon himself to discover the history of these netsukes. In doing so, De Waal not only uncovered the history of the miniature sculptures, but also that of his Russian Jewish family, the Ephrussis. A nineteenth-century banking dynasty in Paris and Vienna, the Ephrussis were as rich and respected as the Rothchild’s. Until 1938, that is, when the Ephrussi family lost their entire property to the Nazis.
The collection of Netsukes was all that remained of their vast empire, tucked away inside a mattress by Anna, a loyal maid at 9b Palais Ephrussi in Vienna during the 2nd World War. The Netsukes have been passed down through five generations of the Ephrussi family, providing Edmund de Waal with an epic story for his book “The Hare With the Amber Eyes”. We highly recommend you read it if this collision of art and history is up your alley!
Click here for a bonus video to hear Edmund himself tell the story about his quest for the netsukes.