Deyrolle, Paris (18)


Deyrolle, Paris.

The first floor sells mostly high-end gardening tools. I asked the woman behind the counter if there was anything upstairs.

"Oh yes," she said. "Many strange things."

There is a gallery with these photos and 13 more.


Wow, what a neat find, David.

Posted by: jkottke at June 4, 2004 06:25 AM

Those animals look so real... so why were they collecting these again? ... or was it some sort of exhibit...

Posted by: Peter at June 4, 2004 10:27 AM

OMG. The dinner party is surreal.

Posted by: Mike at June 4, 2004 03:09 PM

Excellent! Glad you took these.

Posted by: whileseated at June 4, 2004 04:08 PM

Peter: Edited auto-translation from the site of the store's current owners:

"Deyrolle, the school of nature

From the Canadian moose to the delicate stick insects of Malaysia, from the frog skeleton to the blue morpho fluo [butterfly], from the amethyst géode to the mother-of-pearl shell, all that is gathered at Deyrolle in the ambiance of a cabinet of curiosities is for education in the things of nature. This house, unique in Europe, has not failed in its teaching vocation since it was founded in 1831 by Emile Deyrolle, who was crazy about the natural sciences. In the Rue de Bac since 1881, Deyrolle still sells the posters formerly intended for the teaching of botany, zoology and human anatomy. The hunters of butterflies still find all their specialized material, and the collections of butterflies and insects unceasingly renewed know a true passion; minerals and fossils fill the hundreds of drawers and the lifelike animals are true stars here."

The large animals are apparently for rent. You know, for parties, or if you feel the need for a furry friend.

Posted by: David at June 4, 2004 05:23 PM

OMG... those animals... are they taxidermied ones or fakes?

Posted by: ady at June 4, 2004 10:35 PM

@David: Amazing! All in the name of education I see... well perhaps part eccintricity. :)

Posted by: Peter at June 6, 2004 11:59 AM

ady: Taxidermied. They sell glass eyes too if you want to do it yourself.

Posted by: David at June 9, 2004 07:34 PM

David Winston wrote in with a Deyrolle flashback:

'I was very excited to see your pictures of Deyrolle's. In the summer of 1973 some friends and I who were stationed in the army in Stuttgart went to Paris. I don't know how I got to Deyrolle's but we went through the place and never forgot it. I have been telling the story of that visit for 30 years. I couldn't remember the name of the place but today I found your pictures. Very cool. It is just as I remember it. Creatures everywhere. When we walked in a employees said "are you American soldiers?" "Yes." "Do you want to buy some Hashish?" I said no but as the rare non drug user during that time I thought who needs drugs. Just visit Deyrolle's. It was a trip. Thanks for the memories.'

Posted by: David at June 17, 2004 08:48 AM

funny again (see paris-la rochelle comment) because I recently discovered about Deyrolle on an old photo plate I found at Bièvres this month. Story here...

Posted by: Tao at June 17, 2004 09:03 PM

What has happened at Deyrolle?? When I was last there (two Summers ago) it was as it had been for a century: a science supply store par exellence. Now it looks like a very odd housewares store... what is all that about, the furniture, the fancy wallcoverings, the table settings??? Has the old Deyrolle gone away and some gentrified freaky thing replaced it?

Does David Sidaris know???


Posted by: George Gale at November 23, 2004 11:22 AM

Deyrolle is one of the places I must always visit when I am in Paris, and I often tell other people whom I know will be going that they must make time for as well - quite a unique experience!

Regarding Mr Gale's comments as to 'what has happened to the old Deyrolle', the answer quite simply is that the taxidermy and scientific instrument business isn't quite as lucrative as it used to be - and let's face it, it was never a major moneyspinner. If I am not mistaken the business is still owned by the same family, but in order to meet the economic pressures of running a modern urban business, they have shifted to the 'stylish home and garden wares' market whilst keeping the old collection on show and maintaining the taxidermy and mounting business as a sideline. What you call a "gentrified freaky thing" is simply a decision taken in order to stay afloat economically. Of course I suppose there is a certain irony there - a business made on making things last beyond a lifetime, struggling to do the same for itself. Ah, well, that's the cruel relentless march of time for you I suppose!

Posted by: Kellie at December 5, 2004 02:31 PM

We went to Deyrolle last March. It is one of the highlights of Paris. Not only are the displays amazing, but the building itself is gorgeous. Yes, they are real animals and insects. There are even a couple of rather worn Victorian house cats, in addition to the big animals. We are going to Paris again this spring and will definitely visit this wondrous shop once more.

Posted by: Susan & Mike at January 22, 2005 04:17 PM

I have in my possession a very old 1907 painting by a J Deyrolle. Thats what brought me here, What a find. :)

Posted by: CAROL at September 18, 2005 04:09 PM

I was in Paris one cold rainy November afternoon and needed to take a bathroom break - so fortunate for me because I went through the doors and stumbled upon this shop about 7 years ago (before the re-hab) it was the most fantastic shop I've ever been to. Like walking backwards in time. Fabulous place. And even gentrified/modernized I'm sure a great visit.

Posted by: Bridie Macdonald at September 25, 2005 06:50 PM

Does anyone know birth and death years for the founder, Emile Deyrolle? Or the year in which his sons ("Les Fils d'Emile Deyrolle") took over the business? Or the first names of his sons? I have e-mailed the company but they didn't answer.

Posted by: Wendell Wilson at October 23, 2005 04:49 AM

Does anyone know birth and death years for the founder, Emile Deyrolle? Or the year in which his sons ("Les Fils d'Emile Deyrolle") took over the business? Or the first names of his sons? I have e-mailed the company and they didn't answer.

Posted by: Wendell Wilson at October 23, 2005 04:50 AM

If anyone has the e-mail address to this company, please provide it. I can not seem to find another was of reaching them in a timely manner.

Posted by: Leigh at December 6, 2005 04:57 PM
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