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French Specimen Cabinet or Bookcase, circa 1891


The village of Varennes-sur-Allier was the home of a monastery built in 1891 called; Maison des Freres Maristes and was closed in 2015. In one of the children’s classrooms stood a pair of incredible cabinets and how no one pilfered any of the minerals or fossils is beyond me. The cabinets were overflowing with incredible specimens and in the bottom of both were the most unbelievable collection of pressed botanicals I have ever seen (also available through 1stdibs). Each cabinet was rebuilt from the bottom up, all the while trying to maintain the integrity of the piece. Although the cabinets are constructed primarily of pine, they have taken on the appearance of 100 year old French cherry and we did not refinish them, we only enhanced what was already there. This is truly a once in a lifetime find and one of our all-time favourites.


  • Period
  • Condition
    Excellent. Completely restored.
  • Wear
    Wear consistent with age and use.
  • Dimensions

    H 99.75 in. x W 77.25 in. x D 24.75 in.

    H 253.37 cm x W 196.22 cm x D 62.87 cm

  • Seller location
    Chicago, IL
  • Seller reference number
  • Reference number

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    This item can be returned within 7 days of delivery.

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About the Seller

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1stdibs seller since 2006
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Located in Chicago, IL
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