The Jeanvrot collections
The museum houses the incredible collection assembled by Raymond Jeanvrot from Bordeaux on the theme of the last Bourbons.
Born in Bordeaux in 1884, Raymond Jeanvrot began collecting at the age of twelve and this passion occupied him all his life. He began by collecting souvenirs of his mother's family, who had lived in Guadeloupe since the 18th century. Then he turned with passionate fervour to the last kings of France - Louis XVI, Louis XVIII and Charles X - as well as to the Count of Chambord, the last of the Bourbons, and their families. In his own words, the man nicknamed "Monsieur de la Fleur de Lys" feels invested with a real mission with regard to the royal family: "Every soul has its mission on earth, and the one I have is to remember. As a solitary pilgrim, I walk the paths, driven by the constant desire to revive the past. Year after year, he patiently collected engravings, drawings, and both precious and modest objects bearing the effigy of members of the royal family. He was particularly interested in the Duchess of Berry, whose life can be traced from her birth in the royal palace in Caserta to her death in Brunsee Castle.
Faced with the immensity of his collection, which had become his only reason for living, Raymond Jeanvrot understood the need for a museum to ensure its survival after his death. The project, constantly postponed, gave him the impression that his "precious memories" were being neglected. The works finally entered the Musée des Arts Décoratifs in two stages: after a first part was sold in the form of a life annuity to the City of Bordeaux in 1958, the ensemble was definitively integrated into the museum thanks to a bequest in 1966. However, it was not until 1984 and the reorganisation of the museum that the Jeanvrot collection, which had been kept in reserve, was finally presented to the public.