Musee Dupuytren

Morbid Medical Antiques at Musée Dupuytren

Article: Morbid Medical Antiques at Musée Dupuytren

Maybe I’ve been watching too many re-runs of “Oddities,” but there’s something really great about ogling gross, old medical samples and morbid doctoring equipment – if only for the spine-tingling “eeeew!” that they often illicit. Paris’ MusĂ©e Dupuytren is like mecca for connoisseurs of creepy curiosities and antiques. Established in 1835 by “the father of toxicology,” Mathieu Orfila, the collection of weird wax figures and diseased body parts was originally compiled in an unused wing of the old Cordeliers Convent, intended for use by medical students and faculty at the University of Paris. Accumulating most of their pieces between 1836 and 1842, the collection was reported to house over six thousand samples by the end of the 19th century. Tragically, financial strife closed its doors in the 1930s, and the collection sat rotting for thirty years.