MIDNIGHT IN PARIS -
Cabinets of Curiosities, taxidermy, entomology and more.
I particularly wanted to visit the famous house, Deyrolle while in Paris this week, as I loved the scene from Midnight in Paris which was shot in this unusual space. The internal walls are washed in a colour somewhere between Wedgewood blue and eau de nil, providing a subtle backdrop for the timber cabinets and the curiosities. As I wondered amongst the life-sized mounted animals yesterday, I marvelled at the incredible recovery from the devastating fire in 2008 which severely damaged the Cabinets of Curiosities, many of the mounted animals, the entomology room and a large part of the historical collections. This terrible fire resulted in a world-wide effort of concerned contributors who helped provide funds to restore and re-instate this wonderful house. Taxidermy, curiosities, terrariums, etc were very much part of the Victorian interiors, and have been making a come-back of late.
|The Cabinets of Curiosities - now restored.|
Housed on two floors of a beautiful building on Rue du Bac, and originating in 1831, Deyrolle has provided nature lovers, botanists, educational institutions, entomologists, designers and more, a veritable plethora of real life examples of mounted animals, insects, butterflies, shells, natural wonders and historical collection pieces. "The principle of Deyrolle was always to bring to nature the sense of observation and description: ' an image is worth a thousand words', so if one wants to protect nature, one has to know it, understand it and understand the cycles of reproduction of species as well." Today, the house is as beautiful as ever and a visit leaves one with a lasting memory of the history of these incredible undertakings and their reverence to nature. I particularly enjoyed seeing the exquisite wax vegetables and fruits which are uncannily life-like! There is a variety of posters for sale in Deyrolle, many of which are copies of those used for teaching purposes in days gone by.
All of the photographs are my own for which I had to gain special permission as cameras are strictly forbidden in Deyrolle. Chatting to a couple of their staff, the fire and the subsequent restoration was carefully explained to me. The ground floor is dedicated to the pursuit of gardening. Beautiful garden tools, leather gloves, many books, picnic bags and hampers, watering cans, hoses and much more are available. I do hope you enjoy looking through these unusual photographs!
|This beautiful deer standing amongst the cabinets of curiosities - I love the tiger lying on top of the bureau!|
|Beautiful new panelling in the Entomology Room|
Since writing this post, I received a request from Deyrolle to use my photographs on their website!
I also stumbled across The Evolution Store in New York - do
do have a look - fascinating too!