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Seven Crystal Balls: Professor Tarragon's house for sale!

#1 · Posted: 28 Apr 2023 15:23
Ever been worried that you never have enough space to keep your Tintin collectibles? A solution may be at hand!
Why not buy *another* collectible to keep them in, in Brussels!
The house that Hergé used as the model for the home of Professor Hercules Tarragon in The Seven Crystal Balls is up for sale, and if you have €1.48m burning a hole your pocket, it could be yours!

The villa, Nº 6, avenue Delleur in the Watermael-Boitsfort suburb of south Brussels, was close to where Hergé was living at Nº17, at the time he was planning the newspaper version of the story, when he chose to sketch it as the home of a friend of Professor Calculus.

Accompanied by E.P. Jacobs, the two men undertook a short walk, and made some sketches of the house, before beating a hasty retreat when they saw German soldiers in uniform enter the property, and realized that it had been requisitioned by the enemy forces occupying Belgium!

It appeared in its fictional form on Thursday the 30 of March, 1944, and is most memorable as place where Tintin & Cº are shown the mummy of Rascar Capac, before the mummy is destroyed by ball lightning, and for the nightmare Tintin has of a re-animated Rascar Capac entering by the window to wreak revenge on those who have disturbed him...! (It was only a dream, folks!)

The interior of the house as shown in the book is a fantasy, as Hergé never entered the premises. Professor Tarragon (Bergamotte in the French original) was based on Professor Jean Capart, a conservator in the Royal Museum of Art & History in Brussels, who also was the model for Dr Grossgrabenstein in Jacobs' Blake & Mortimer adventure, The Mystery of the Great Pyramid.

An interesting coincidence (Hergé loved coincidences, but I don't know if he ever knew of this one) is pointed out in the linked article: two iconic Brussels buildings depicted in this book - this house, and the famous Metropole Hotel on the place de Brouckère - were both designed by the same architect, Alban Chambon.

Actually, perhaps this should be titled "...-again!", as it has been for sale before, during the life of our forums!
John Snow
#2 · Posted: 5 May 2023 17:44
Interesting to see more detailed images from the house. For those interested, I found the house listing here: https://www.realo.be/en/1170-watermael-boitsfort/5199220?l=1170441624

I'm actually surprised by the size of the garden, though it is not by far the size of the park in the book where professor Calculus got kidnapped -I always wondered how big that garden had to be.

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