Style Neo-gothic / Ref.10927
A large neo-Gothic oak bookcase, collection of Abbé Cochet
Width: 124'' ¾ 317cm
Height: 128'' 325cm
Depth: 21'' ⅝ 55cm
France, 19th century
Abbot Jean-Benoît-Désiré Cochet (1812-1875) :
Father Cochet was a scholar curious of all the domains that were then the responsibility of "archaeologists" in the 19th century. His work focuses on Haute-Normandie and covers both Antiquity and the Middle Ages. But he is above all the founder of archeology, especially that of the Merovingian period in France.
Jean-Benoît Désiré Cochet was born in Sanvic, in the suburbs of Le Havre, in a modest military family. He is noticed for his intelligence by a priest from Le Havre who makes him enter the seminary in 1828.
Interested by archeology from the age of 18 on the occasion of the discovery, in 1830, of a villa during the construction of the presbytery of Etretat, he wrote his first archaeological study in 1834 and began his first excavations in 1835, at Etretat and Chateau Gaillard (Bordeaux-Saint-Clair), while still at the seminary (he will be ordained priest in 1836).
He has held official positions in the field of archeology and historical monuments. Appointed corresponding member of the Departmental Commission of Antiquities in 1834, received at the Academy of Sciences, belles-lettres and arts of Rouen in 1842, he becomes in 1849, "correspondent of the Ministry of Interior for historical monuments "for the Seine-Inferieure area. He is also a member of the British Archaeological Association and the Society of Antiquaries of London.
In 1847, he directs the excavations of the Merovingian cemetery in Londinières, the first of a series that will make him one of the pioneers of archeology at this period. At the same time, he worked on the churches of the department and published, by district, from 1844, the result of his research.
In the 1850s, Father Cochet decreased his field activities: because of health problems, "he must give up all active work in 1846 and retire to Dieppe as a regular priest of Saint-Jacques", and then dedicate himself largely to archaeological research.
His life, interspersed with frequent trips to Paris and tours in the department, is in Dieppe until 1867, date of his appointment to the post of curator of the departmental museum of Antiquities in Rouen, which brings him to settle in this city where he will die.
In April 1875, Father Cochet was paralyzed. When he died in June 1875, he bequeathed abundant literature to posterity. The Acheologian priest has published two essential works. The first, "Underground Normandy" (1854) in which he explains his methods. Indeed, the object must not only be studied for itself but for what it teaches us: "What I look for in the earth is a thought, an idea [...], a phrase about ancient manners, funereal customs, Roman or barbarous industry "remains his most famous phrase. The second work is entitled "Gallic, Roman, Frankish and Norman Graves" (1857).
Finally, let us quote its famous "Historical and archeological Seine-Inferior" (1864), always used as a reference.
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