A family saga: the kites through the family Deffain Grand Bazar, unique "museum" in France Home wokipi-kite
     
 
Préfailles is a seaside resort in Loire-Atlantique. In its center, there is the Main shopping street. The owner of the store to the front in green wood, with its large windows, waiting for us. We will meet Georges Deffain, great-grandson of Charles Deffain, which operates the "Grand Bazar". Today, George is working with her daughter Sophie, who took over from the family.
 
"Grand bazar " built in 1900 by the companions of France, is in its way a monument of local architecture. It is a "hardware store drugstore stationery" with its rays of food, toys, postcards, Quimper faience and other DIY tools ... but what makes the richness and uniqueness of this shop: a collection of kites flying early twentieth century suspended in the air from their their grandfather, Charles Deffain.

George welcomed us very simply, while we are captivated by its fabulous collection. He shows us posters, antiques, used stencil plates and tells us his fabulous discovery: "In 1990, at the time of Christmas, I wanted to decorate my shop. I went up to the attic and in dusty trunks belonging to my grandfather, I have discovered five kites. That was just the beginning of my surprises ... ".

Then he exposes a dozen of them inside the Grand Bazaar. Given the success of this initiative is now sixty of them are show in the store Grand Bazaar.

« "Look at the work of these older models. They were all prepared in cotton canvas and stretched by bamboo sticks or poplar. They used metal umbrella rib for rounded wings of birds.
Rope was hemp tanned and drawings made with stencil zinc.
   
These kites were all static and single line. Nothing to do with the actual stunt kites, made with fiberglass, carbon spinnaker and other polyester twine, these nylon acrobatic giants, "says Georges Deffain, intarrissable on family history and his strange birds that decorate the ceiling of his shop ..
 
 
The Volley Ball, once in the air, we launched
the ball into the net - 1925 - length: 1m
"Aero-photo" of 1903, to take pictures of trenches during the war 14-18. 2m35 wingspan. 2m long
     
"Roi des Airs", King Airs. On the model "Biarritz", the device was decorated with ropes and red wings.
There were 3-dimensional
The "point d'interrogation", in homage to the plane which connected Paris to New York nonstop - September 1930
The Antoinette inspired by aircraft of the same name. The propeller (not exposed on the model) activated a device imitating the noise of the plane
     
"I must only learn to undertake restoration with an entirely traditional way. That's the last straw! for someone like me who does not initially felt a special attraction to the kite! ".

Documents, books and engravings found in old boxes also allowed him to reconstruct their past: "This is a chance because I have so far never met a partner able to explain me about these kites. I do not know a museum in the hexagon that has original parts. I feel a bit isolated ... ".

This superb collection is unique in France consisting of a hundred pieces, all different and rare. It attracts enthusiasts from around the world. And for them, George is always ready to open its archives.

"I allowed them to take steps to make reproductions and help with the plans that I have," says Georges Deffain.

These archives are rich in multiple documents, catalogs and vintage photos on Turchet-Deffain but also Gomes, whose products were previously sold in the Grand Bazaar Préfailles.
     
Credits photos : Patrick Mouchague - Collection Georges and Sophie Deffain
Le Grand Bazar  - 31, Grande Rue 44770 PREFAILLES - Tel : 02.40.21.61.22 - https://grandbazarprefailles.com/cerfs-volants-1900/