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What Is a Daum Vase?

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  • Written By: M. Haskins
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  • Last Modified Date: 24 September 2016
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A Daum vase is a glass vase, most commonly made from crystal glass, handmade at the Daum studio in Nancy, France. The Daum studio has been in operation since 1878, and its decorative vases and sculptures, often made in the Art Nouveau or Art Deco style, became famous during the early part of the 20th century. Glass vases from this studio commonly feature designs and motifs inspired by nature, including animals, birds, leaves and flowers. A wide range of decorative glass-making techniques can be used on a Daum vase, including acid etching, enameling, carving, engraving and the application of elements such as handles and other ornaments. The Daum studio is most famous for its use of the pâte de verre, or glass paste, technique which is a rarely used and labor intensive form of glass-making that makes it possible to create glass objects that are very finely detailed.

A vintage vase made at the Daum studio is often highly prized by collectors. Depending on the age of the vase, the details of its design and how well-preserved it is, it can sell from under $100 US Dollars (USD) to several thousand USD. Each Daum vase is designed by an artist and manufactured by hand, making each vase unique. Famous artists who became well-known for their work at Daum include Pierre d'Avesn and Jacques Gruber. Certain vases are signed by the designing artist, and the presence of such a signature can significantly increase the value of the vase.

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This kind of vase is often copied because of its great value as a collector's item, and when buying a Daum vase it is important to ensure that the item is authentic. An authentic Daum vase is always stamped with the signature of the Daum studio, featuring the words Daum Nancy and a so-called cross of Lorraine, a cross with two horizontal lines. In some cases, a Daum vase can also features an edition number, and when purchased from an authorized dealer, it is supplied with a certificate of authenticity.

The glass paste technique used to make vases at the Daum studio involves several steps. First, a wax sculpture of the vase is made. Then, a plaster mold is cast around the wax, and the wax is melted out. Powdered crystal glass in the desired colors is then put into the mold, and the mold is heated in a glass-making kiln. The finished vase is then removed from the mold and polished.

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cloudel
Post 4

I have seen a variety of items from the Daum studio for sale online, and all of them are so gorgeous. Personally, I prefer the figurines to the vases, because they have more variety. I have seen Daum hummingbirds, elephants, and horses.

What strikes me most about every item is the coloring. I'm not quite sure how they do it, but they manage to make different colors run together, creating a soft gradient. Maybe it just happens in the heating process, and they melt together this way.

I'm sure that some of their techniques will be kept secret. Though we know the basics of using molds and powders, we don't have what it takes to make a Daum vase or figurine. They are definitely unique, and this is a big selling point.

kylee07drg
Post 3

I stand in awe of the makers of Daum crystal vases. I have never seen anything so intricately beautiful, and it amazes me that making something like this is even possible.

I say this because of my aunt's Daum daffodil vase. The stems go right through the outside of the vase and line the insides, and then they go back out to the surface again.

A bloom near the top of the vase has its stem running in and out, and the bloom is on the outer surface, though you can tell it originated from within. I can see why they are worth so much and take time and talent to make.

OeKc05
Post 2

@seag47 – The price does seem outrageous. The only reason that I own one is because it was passed down to me from generations ago.

My grandmother had it in her possession before she died, and she knew that I had always admired it, so she willed it to me. At the base, it starts out like a normal vase, but after the first few inches of glass, it turns into something spectacular.

Stems and leaves extend up the vase and explode into blooms of roses. The stems are a beautiful spring green, and the rose blossoms are pink.

What makes this vase so unique is that these roses aren't just etched into the glass. They are the vase itself. Instead of ending in an even rim, the vase has a rim that follows the outlines of the roses, making it the most interesting flower container ever to grace a table.

seag47
Post 1

I knew that my mother-in-law was a Daum vase fan, and I thought about getting her one for her birthday. That idea came to a quick halt when I saw the price tag.

I found an absolutely beautiful Daum vase in the shape of an orchid online. It was multi-colored, and the turquoise, orange, and yellow colors faded into each other seamlessly. I thought I had found the perfect gift, until I looked at the price to the right.

It was over $6,000! Granted, the vase was stunning and large, but I don't even have that much money in my savings account! I can't imagine that a lot of these are sold to anyone other than celebrities and other wealthy individuals.

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