So Last Century

Daum : French Art Glass

Of all the names that are associated with high quality French Art Glass, Daum stands at the top with Lalique and Gallé.

The company began in 1878 when one Jean Daum took over a glassworks in Nancy in north east France in payment for a debt. In 1885 his sons, Auguste and Antonin, took over the works which they named Daum Frères and a mere eight years later were exhibiting their cameo glass at the Chicago World Fair, later winning a prize at the Paris Exhibition in 1900. Their style was true Art Nouveau, with inspiration from the landscape of their homeland and the animals and flowers that they knew so well.

The company stayed in the family when Paul Daum, grandson of Jean Daum, took it over in 1909. By the 1920s he had started to move away from the Art Nouveau style and into the Art Deco era. Shapes became simpler, more geometric designs featured and the colours were often rich and striking, sometimes with gold or silver-foil inclusions as shown here in this handled vase, or of softly -coloured transparent glass as in the example below.
In 1962, the company was renamed Cristallerie Daum and made pieces with contrasting textures and often unusual shapes and designs. They began to experiment again with 'pâte-de-verre', which is a material consisting of powdered glass mixed with a binding agent and which Daum had used in the early part of the century.
The photo here of a leaping fish is probably from this period and is of pâte-de-verre.
Right into the 1970s, big names, including the renowned Salvador Dali,were employed as designers for a collection of limited edition pieces, mainly sculptures. Today the company still produces high-quality glass.

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