When a Fire Hits the Taxidermist


26 Responses to “When a Fire Hits the Taxidermist”

  1. DefMech says:

    For a place with a history and stature like that, you’d think they’d have a half-decent fire suppression system. Understandably, it wouldn’t have saved everything perfectly, but

  2. Noelegy says:

    Fantasmaglow, I’m sorry for your loss.

  3. travelina says:

    This is encouraging news.

    Here are some nice photos of the prince in his magical shop before the fire:

  4. Falcon_Seven says:

    Quel dommage!

  5. fantasmaglow says:

    How ironic, another fire. My entire house, car, pet cat, everything my family and I owned, were engulfed in flames Thursday night due to the Montecito Tea fire, reducing our lives to a smoldering pile of ashes. Another reminder of how much fires suck, yay! Gorgeous pictures, although they hit too close to home at the moment.

  6. Jack says:

    The guy has 650 varieties of tomatoes? He should open a tomato museum!

  7. Iscah says:

    Fantasmaglow, how awful. I’m so sorry.

    How does a fossil collection burn, if that’s not a stupid question?

  8. Jack says:

    Iscah, rocks exposed to heat crack. Also add cold water (used to put out a fire) on a hot stone not really designed to withstand quick changes in heat/cold and there you have it.

  9. Schorsch says:

    French soldiers routinely patrol Paris?

  10. travelina says:

    @Jack: the prince DOES have a tomato museum, or rather a living museum of tomatoes, called le Conservatoire National de Tomate, and you can visit it from April through October at his castle, le Chateau de la Bourdaisiere in the Loire Valley. He also sells elegant garden tools online, under the name Le Prince Jardinier, with a clever coat of arms he designed himself: a garden fork and spade, crossed, surmounted by a straw hat:

  11. Anonymous says:

    Also, some of the best fossils are simply a thin layer of carbon found between layers of sedimentary rocks. Fire puts its own layer of carbon over the entire rock.

  12. Homegrown Evolution says:

    What a loss. I visited this amazing place a few years ago and spent more than an hour walking the isles and rooms. The shop has a history of being the go-to taxidermy shop for hunting aristocrats, but had a nice democratic touch–for just a few Euros anybody could go home with a beautiful object (I picked up two beetles mounted in a frame). It was free to wander the many rooms and the staff was very friendly. Hope to see it reborn from the ashes!

  13. homodachi says:

    Aww, that’s the one that David Sedaris used to write about. He must be disappointed.

    There’s an ep of This American Life where he takes Ira Glass there:

  14. RedShirt77 says:

    For a second I thought this was going to be a post for a two headed Zebra.

  15. Lea Hernandez says:

    Fantasmaglow, my house was destroyed by fire two years ago. The pictures hit me, too. I’m so sorry for your loss.

    It seems like what water doesn’t get, fire does.

  16. Anonymous says:

    @ schorsch,

    yes, since the 1995 subway bombings soldiers do routinely patrol the streets, especially near the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, round the corner from Deyrolle. You see plenty of military patrols sporting submachine guns on the subway or at train stations.

    In addition to taxidermy Deyrolle was also a publisher of educational posters for French schools, with everything from natural history to the danger of alcoholism such as http://ebayimages.goantiques.com/dbimages/KZZ9157/KZZ9157GH1409.jpg
    or this one http://live.universal-collectibles.com/product_images02/19692-1.jpg

  17. StudioRobot says:

    is that a giant rubber nipple on the ground?

    oh, nope. looks like a lampshade.

  18. mdh says:

    How does a fossil collection burn, if that’s not a stupid question?

    Depends how it’s stacked, but I’d bet fossils make great fuel. ;D

  19. Zinjanthropus says:

    de Broglie? I guess he’ll provide a quantum of solace.

  20. Not a Doktor says:


  21. Secret_Life_of_Plants says:

    This made me truly sad. I was in there just 3 weeks before the fire. It was (and will be again) a fantastic environment and a true piece of Parisian History.

    Also, I have never seen “military patrols sporting submachine guns on the subway” in Paris…at the train stations yes, but on the Metro, no.

  22. Anonymous says:

    Wow.. what a loss. Think about it.. some of those animals were probably the first of their species ever seen by Europeans.

    Or an even sadder thought… maybe newly discovered species that are now extinct.

    I’m not one for displaying stuffed animals, but this seems like a much classier way to present them than just their heads next to a neon “Coor’s” sign.

  23. keroauciness says:

    Adam Gopnik writes about taking his kids to Deyrolle in Paris to the Moon, apropos of nothing.

  24. Anonymous says:

    @#2 Falcon_Seven: I see what you did there… double entendre, bien fait!

  25. Anonymous says:

    Taxidermists used to use arsenic as a preservation ingredient, leading to health problems: ” In one recipe, laid down by the 18th-century French taxidermist Becoeur, arsenic was mixed with white soap, camphor and salt of tartar and lime to form a preservative known as arsenical soap. This not only preserved skin and prevented the decay of remaining flesh, but was also effective against some insect attack.”

    Museums are advised now to check for arsenic in any stuffed animals they display, as the dust can hold arsenic. I wonder if the residue of this fire could cause problems.

  26. rebdav says:

    #7, It wouldnt surprise me.
    The Prench police and government have had sweeping powers of the type that Americans are just now experiencing post 9-11.

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