Log in Sign up
Get 15% off when you sign up for our newsletter!

Bonjour Bones

Forge collective blog birds n bones jewelry
- Elizabeth Mikutowicz -
.
After our B+B rendezvous in NYC last month we're itching for another Dark Venture, and what's better than a gothic inspired trip to Paris in the summertime? 
First up on our list of must-sees is the Catacombs of Paris.
.
Paris Catacombs
.
The catacombs of Paris are the final resting place for over 6 million people. Let's just let that sink in for a minute. That's nearly the entire population of New York City. This subterranean cemetery of sorts is located in a small portion of an underground network of tunnels that comprise the Mines of Paris. The catacombs start at the Barrière d’Enfer, or Gates of Hell.
.
Gates of Hell
.
They date back to the late 18th century and were created in part because the city's cemeteries were overflowing. After years of expanding and creating new cemeteries, city officials thought to solve this shortage on space while simultaneously solving the issue of cave-ins around old mine tunnels. In an effort to kill two birds with one stone, Paris began an effort to excavate bones and skeletons and relocate them in the mine tunnels to prevent further cave-ins. Initially, the catacombs were an unorganized mass of bones, but under the leadership of the city's mine inspector, the skulls and bones were arranged in an impressive display. In this way, the catacombs were transformed into a mausoleum. The catacombs become a public curiosity with regular visits in the early 19th century. While you can't take a piece of the catacombs home with you, you can view and even take home another sort of curiosity.
.
Founded in 1831, Maison Deyrolle started as an institute for natural sciences and pedagogy. Named after its founder, entomologist Jean-Babtiste Deyrolle, it quickly became known for the rare and interesting insects and specimens collected and sold, as well as their growing taxidermy collection. Impressively, the taxidermy animals were prepared in house by Deyrolle himself! Eventually, this practice became so popular, Maison Deyrolle sold collection and hunting equipment to help amateurs and experts alike establish their own entomology and animal collections. Continuing their support of natural history, they helped to publish and sell books on flora and fauna. Interestingly, this Institute and shop brought together an unusual mix of scholars and hunters, collectors and naturalists. 
.
Maison Deyrolle
Maison Deyrolle
Maison Deyrolle
.
Now nearly 200 years old, Maison Deyrolle still displays an impressive and beautiful array of taxidermy and preserved animals. Like a real like Noah's Ark, the museum turned shop is still called upon as a reference in the field of taxidermy. True to its roots, they still do taxidermy and specimen preservation in-house and create custom displays and curio globes. Each insect and display is so beautiful, it's almost impossible to decide which we love the most. What insects would you pick for your curio globe!? 
Rounding out your day, it wouldn't be complete without a visit to another type of Maison, Michel Chaudin's Maison du Chocolat. His shop isn't just any chocolate shop though. It's a delightfully atmospheric step into the past, a wood paneled 19th-century throw-back. It's bedecked top to bottom in hand made chocolate sculptures.
.
Michel Chaudin's Maison du Chocolat
.
Like a museum of chocolate, Chaudin has created chocolate Pharaohs in sarcophagi, Aztec gods, relics of all sorts, and even dark chocolate busts of 18th century women. What Maison Deyrolle is to curiosities, Michel Chaudin's Maison is to chocolate. It truly is a chocolate wonderland. 
.
Wear your own curiosity, and carry a piece of the catacombs with you, with the Hydra Maximus or Hydra Minimus Skull Necklace from our Curios Draconis collection. 
.
Hydra Minimus and Maximus Skull Necklaces Birds N Bones Jewelry
Dark Venture

← Older Post Newer Post →



Leave a comment