Artisan d’art: Dominic Stora , the last French maker of kaleidescopes, is in the picturesque Normandy village of Beaumont -en- Auge
This is his story of how it all came about:
“Après la Pluie” is the name of the shop selling antiques and books that my wife and I opened in 1976 in a small village in Normandy.
Some of our clients, who loved vintage toys, regularly asked for kaleidoscopes, and we were curious to see what we could find to satisfy them. We quickly realised that the few antique kaleidoscopes available were as expensive as they were disappointing. The contemporary ones were even more of a let-down…
So we decided to manufacture some ourselves. We felt that this object was charming enough in itself to justify the investment in time and in beautiful materials which would guarantee the quality of the products. Helped by the principles of optics acquired through a long practice of photography, we started making kaleidoscopes and selling them in our shop in 1977.
As they became increasingly successful, we produced more and more. We now sell mainly in trade fairs (we regularly exhibit in Paris, and we are often present in Frankfurt and Nuremberg, London, New York and Tokyo) or through exclusive importers. More than 70% of our products are exported.
To date, our range includes more than thirty models, from the simplest to the most sophisticated. They are characterised by their beautiful materials which improve with time (from precious woods to shagreen, through bookbinding paper, leather, brass, mother-of-pearl, ornamental stones and so on), as well as their refinement and subtle colours. We then added a series of replicas of optical games from the beginning of the 19th century. Their simple principle makes them even more enchanting and they are handcrafted to the highest standard.
We do everything by hand, which guarantees the highest level of quality and a lifetime of usage.
Our commitment to excellence has attracted numerous and faithful clients. We sell to collectors and individuals, but also to museum shops, home decorating or gift shops, galleries, shops selling games for adults or luxury toys, bookshops and so on… We also supply luxury brands looking for corporate gifts or personalised objects.
Visit the website : http://buff.ly/2mWOgPZ
Visit the shop :
V3 rue de la Libération
14950 Beaumont en Auge – France
T : +33 (0)2 31 65 13 20
email : [email protected] i