During my recent travels to Paris one of my first stops was a quirky shop just off Boulevard Saint Germain on the left bank...
Deyrolle was founded by well-known entomologist Emile Deyrolle in 1831, and has been at its current two-story premises since 1881. I had been keen to visit the store since reading about it s few years ago.
Exotic taxidermy, entomology, and natural history specimens displayed in antique wooden cases and glass bell jars have made this store a destination for Parisians ever since it opened its doors. In 2007, much of the store was destroyed in a predawn conflagration that left in its wake a haunting tableau of singed wings and charred fur.
With the help of artists and collectors worldwide, the store has been largely rebuilt from that fire. Today everything from house cats to polar bears are once again on display in Deyrolle. The store itself has also managed to maintain its 19th-century decor, with beautiful wooden cases and specimen drawers throughout. Though some of the more exotic animals are not for sale, almost everything in the store is available for rent.