A shop in Paris has been selling stuffed creatures for 186 years – and it’s really bizarre

Paris is famed for its lavish perfumeries and opulent boutiques, but there is one shop that trumps the likes of Christian Dior and Yves Saint Laurent.

In business since 1831, family-run Deyrolle is an institution. Described as a temple to taxidermy and the natural world, it’s now the subject of a coffee-table photo book depicting some of the weird and wonderful items available for sale.

What can you buy?

Expect to find a real menagerie of madness in this cabinet of curiosities. Mounted birds are accompanied by a label with the name of the genus, species and site of capture; reptiles are preserved in alcohol, and butterflies are displayed in picture frames.

It’s worth a visit for the window shopping alone: fluffy chicks peek from slits in wooden drawers, polar bears pose with parrots and red pandas lounge on stems of bamboo.

Is it ethical?

All the animals for sale died of natural causes, and the shop’s owner, Prince Louis Albert de Broglie, advocates sustainability. He also supports various wildlife causes.

Who shops there?

The store was popular in the 19th century when Europeans became fascinated by specimens from the natural world. Famous patrons included artists Salvador Dali and novelist Vladimir Nabokov.

What else do they do?

In 1995, the owner launched Le Prince Jardinier brand, selling high-quality garden tools and accessories, natural textile clothes made in France, decorative objects, table and picnic wear, and furniture collections. Deyrolle has also recently done a fashion collaboration with children’s clothing company Petit Bateau.

 

A Parisian Cabinet of Curiosities: Deyrolle by Prince Louis Albert de Broglie, published by Flammarion, is out October 26 priced £22.50.

Find the store at 46 Rue du Bac. Visit deyrolle.com

 

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