Raising butterflies.

André Breton purchased this wooden butterfly rearing cage with sides and a top made of mesh wire at Deyrolle, a taxidermy shop in Paris’s Saint-Germain-des-Prés quarter, which was in the Surrealists’ days (and still is) particularly famous for its well-assorted entomology section (although sadly a fire on 1 February 2008 destroyed most of the insect collections, the ‘cabinet of curiosities’ and the historical collection on the first floor). The wooden panels of the cage were painted in colour by Breton’s friends Adrien Dax, Yves Elléouët, Charles Estienne and Toyen.

Pictures of Deyrolle taxidermy shop, 46 rue du Bac, Paris, before the fire on 1 February 2008.

For an image of Breton in his studio surrounded by his collection of butterflies, moths and beetles, see here.

For a photograph of Breton and Péret engaged in a butterfly hunt, click here.

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