1903-1938 : The Villa “alla pietra” during the ‘belle époque’
On the death of the Baron in 1903, his niece, Jenny Ellenberger inherited his fortune. She had married her cousin, the Parisian banker Hugo Finaly. They frequented several literary authors of the ‘belle époque’, including Proust, Anatole France and D’Annunzio. She shared her uncle’s passion for books and works of art, and often stayed in Florence.
In 1915, now a widow, she came to live permanently in the Villa. She carried out more extensions and modernisation, and continued to enrich the book collections. In her activity as an enlightened bibliophile and art ,lover she was assisted by her eldest son, Horace Finaly.
Horace Finaly, for 37 years a senior collaborator at the Banque de Paris et des Pays Bas rising to become General Director, was also known as a Dante specialist. He kept original manuscripts and rare editions in his admirable library in Neuilly. During this period, books were frequently exchanged between the two libraries.