This strange cigar type object fell out of the shutter frame when I opened the windows in a house in S E France. it is beautifully constructed out of leaves as far as I can tell. My guess is that it of insect origin. Even though it appears dry, flaky and unlikely to develop into anything I didn't want to examine it any further as I wouldn't know what to look for. I don't know what it is does anyone have any suggestions?
That is a nest of a leaf-cutter bee, probably a species of Megachile.
Before you opened the shutter frame, there would have been a nice dark little tunnel - just the sort of place leaf-cutter bees like to build their nests. They cut oval pieces of leaf and use them to build these 'cigars', in which there are cells where their larve develop and pupate.