December 1
Off On Another Adventure

We'll be leaving late Sunday on Susie's annual Surprise Birthday Trip. It is a small family tradition. Each year I drop a stupid amount of frequesnt flier miles to take her somewhere special. And this year is a doosie!

Check back next week for a full report and photos.

We'll be gone until December 7 but as always, will be trying to check email and phone messages as we go.

Meanwhile, I'd like to remind you about the handful of exquisite Guy Gosslin kites we picked up for the Holidays. I'd seen my French friend in Marseilles and asked him to ship me several special pieces. The results are simply amazing.

Each kites is made by hand and the painted pieces offer extraordinary detail.

Painting Detail

We are offering replicas of four Japanese designs and also several historic Western models.

Construction Detail

Look closely at the bamboo framing of the traditional kites. Each piece is perfectly split and then hand tied in place.

Every kites comes complete with an equally well crafted cardboard display box.

Sorry - we just have one of each design on hand. But we can order more and have them sent direct to you from France.

The first two pieces we offer are traditional Hachijojima Kites from the area 400 kilometers south of Tokyo. The Koi on the left is a reproduction of a stamp by Utagawa Kuniyoshi (1797-1861). The night scene on the right is from an engraving by Utagawa Hiroshige (1797 - 1858).

 hachijojima - fish  hachijojima - reverse  hachijojima - moonl

Both pieces are washi on bamboo, roughly nine inches tall. The cost is $84 each plus shipping.

Wan Wan

Our next kite is a traditional Wan Wan from northern part of Shikoku Island. The image is Three Geishas from a print by Torij Kiyonaga (1752-1815). The Wan Wan is unique in Japan for its round shape -- reputedly based on a typical lacquer plate.

The washi and bamboo kite is six inches in diameter with an extended spar another three inches long. The cost is $122 plus shipping.

Click here to see the back side detail.
Click here for a close up of the painting.

From the Pacific Coast of Central Japan, come the fighting kites of Hamamatsu.

These sturdy kites are constructed from 24 bamboo spars and seven tension lines for dihedral. The extended center spar is used to steady the kite in launch and also as an offensive weapon in battle.

This Hamamatsu features an engraving by Eishosai Choki (1780-1800). The kite surface is six by six inches. The cost is $125 plus shipping.

Click here to see the back side detail.

Hamamatsu Kite

Small Edo

Some kiters improperly refer to all Japanese kites as an "Edo". Each area of Japan has their own indigenous kites. Edo Kites are from Tokyo (previously called Edo) and distinguished by their unique frame arrangement.

The Edo we present here is nine inches tall and features a wood block print by Utagawa Hiroshige (1797 - 1858). The cost is $122 plus shipping.

Please refer to it as the "Small Edo" to distinguish it from the kite shown next.

Click here to see the back side detail.

Click here to see a close-up of the painting.

This larger Edo is ten inches tall.

Like the smaller model, it is hand-painted on washi paper and framed in the traditional manner. The larger bridle lines are hand-tied to smaller attachment lines connected to the bamboo spars.

The image is by Tsukioka Yoshitoshi (1839-1892) and portrays a Samurai playing a flute. You will appreciate the finely detailed kimono and the well imaged feet and hands.

The cost is $122 plus shipping.

Click here to see the back side detail.

Large Edo

Gosselin is best known for his miniature reproductions of Western kites. This is actually quite surprising considering the quality of his Japanese-style painting. Take a look at the kites below and tell us which you like better.

One of the more popular Gosselin Kites in the standard wing Cody Box. It is made from white Icarex with wooden spars. All wings are reinforced and filly bridled.

The kite stands about seven inches tall and costs $66. We can take orders for different colors for $69 with shipping direct to you from France. Click here to see another view.

Standard Cody

Extended Cody

Slightly more sophisticated is the Extended Wing Cody. The extra sail section makes a huge difference in appearance.

We'll sell this red Extended Wing for $74 or can take orders for $79. Click here to see another view.

Another popular and unusual kite has been the Dondai. You can see more photos and details in the. Gosselin Pages of the Kitemaster's Guild. What we have new here is a traditional Dondai and then the new, Double Face Dondai. The Double is basically two kites connected together. And yes, it flies just great!

Dondai and Double Dondai

Here's a look at the two kites from the front. We're selling them for $55 and $85 respectively.


Finally, here is a look at a complex European design called the Scarab. It is framed in wiry carbon with a lightweight Icarex sail. Hair-thin strips of fabric attached to the cross-piece act as balancers and a tiny bungee tensioner at the bottom holds the spine taught.

Scarab Case

The entire kite breaks down into a delightful cardboard carry case and sells for $70 each plus shipping.

Each Gosselin kite comes complete with a hand-made cardboard box, designed for the kite and detailed with additional historical information.

Frame the kites, or fly them on sewing thread. They are something special.

Meanwhile, I'm off to Lunen German next weekend. Drop in next week for an Update from there! Cheers!

Gosselin Box

So -- we're off on our adventure and look forward to sharing the details, or at least most of them, with all of you next week. I promise you'll be surprised. After all, where would you take your wife with a quarter-million frequent flier miles??

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