Made the mistake of watching some Royal Wedding highlights on the television. The media kept making dress comparisons between Duchess Katie and Princess Grace. That made me think of Monaco and how I’ve never covered a museum from there before…until today.
There’s literally thousands of dolls and automatons (meaning the dolls turn their heads and play music) housed at the Monaco National Museum as part of a special exhibit. The collection was started by Madame Madeleine de Galea during the 19th century. The wife of a French diplomat, Madame Hoarder took a special interest all things Napoleon III and eventually accumulated a number of objects and furnishings from that era. At one point she had so many dolls that her mansion was no longer large enough and she had to buy the house next-door for extra space. She also collected tin soldiers and china dolls. After the Madame’s death, her grandson donated the bulk of her collection to various French museums. Most of the dolls and automatons were given to Prince Rainier of Monaco and found a permanent home at Villa Sauber in 1972. And the exciting part is that the Mechanical Dolls of Monte Carlo even have their own book.