10 May. 2022

Atypical Places in Paris: Discover a Curiosity Cabinet

Lieux Atypiques à Paris : Découvrez un Cabinet de Curiosité

While most know the catacombs, probably the weirdest tourist attraction in the French capital, other less-known oddities nevertheless deserve a visit.

Curiosity cabinets, an age-old phenomenon

Curiosity cabinets appeared in Europe towards the end of the 16th century, piling together antiques, works of art and stuffed animals rubbing shoulders with skeletons, “magical” objects and even mythical creatures.

They are midway between science and fantasy.

Curiosity cabinets have gradually been replaced by museums.

Some however still remain, among the most famous the Ashmolean in Oxford, which opened its doors in 1683.

Discover a Parisian Curiosity cabinet

Founded in 1831 by Jean-Baptiste Deyrolle, la Maison Deyrolle located at 46 rue du Bac is something of a display case for the history of science.

While a must for the initiated, it is generally ignored by the majority of passersby who have no idea what lies within…

And while some who cross the threshold may find it disturbing to wander through a remarkable display of stuffed animals, others marvel at it.

It may reassure the former that none of the animals on display were killed to be stuffed.

All came from zoos and circuses, and died of old age, illness or accidentally.

Taxidermy, or the art of immortalizing the living:

Taxidermy is the art of constructing a structure or a skeleton (nowadays in wood, metal or polyethylene) onto which an animal is “reconstructed”

In the past, the base was straw, hence the commonly known term “to stuff”.

The Maison Deyrolle is still today a reference in the field of taxidermy, and a must for unique collectibles for unique interiors.

A neighbourhood stuffed with curiosities:

Why not take advantage of a visit to the weird and wonderful to go for a stroll through the historic Saint-Thomas d’Aquin neighbourhood in the capital’s 7th District? Drop in on the Orsay Museum, La Chapelle Notre Dame de la Médaille Miraculeuse, the renowned Bon Marché department store and, why not, our local agency? You won’t be disappointed, that’s for sure…

To know more :

Maison Deyrolle

46 Rue du Bac, 75007 Paris


Share this article

Compare Listings