The glass service, the crystal vase and the crystal in general constitute an emblematic aspect of French heritage. Along with earthenware and old paintings, crystal is undoubtedly a French specialty. The secular Daum France manufacture carries the torch high, established in the Lorraine landscape since 1878. The manufacture will be at the heart of the fabulous Art Nouveau adventure, giving birth to a prolific naturalist creation.
Despite this, the field in which Daum excels is a very positive image of French know-how, particularly in animal representation, a favorite theme of the manufacture.
A beneficial contribution due to the war
The war of 1870 saw its influx of malcontents with the German Empire's annexation of Alsace-Lorraine. Jean Daum was one of his optants, forced to migrate to Nancy, which is gradually becoming a strategic city in the great East. This professional notary decides to create a factory, he will be accompanied by his two sons for management and artistic creation. Nancy is considered the birthplace of Art Nouveau. This is where the adventure begins, and Lorraine crystal-makers will fully benefit from this new enthusiasm for the decorative arts.
The Daum family began producing quality products, alongside other great glassmakers such as Émile Gallé. Antonin Daum will then represent nature in his creations, blueberries, violets and orchids adorn the vases, presenting various techniques such as enamelling or acid etching.
The stubbornness of a family for success
Auguste and Antonin, the sons of Jean Daum, continue the work and define the strategy to be adopted. They direct production towards artistic creation of high standing. Thus, it is mainly towards decorative objects, such as decorative vases and works of art as well as crystal glasses that efforts are directed.
Their first steps focused on simple models which will quickly be refined with acid etching techniques first, then with a wheel, and multilayer glass. The watchword was simple: maintain quality by opting more for aesthetic than utilitarian orientations.
Shortages after the Second World War led Henri and Michel Daum to favor crystal. Unlike glass, the composition of a crystal contains lead (silica, potash, lead, and various fluxes).
Cousin Antoine Froissart perfected the manufacture of a particularly transparent crystal. This makes it possible to diversify the production towards champagne flutes, the crystal glass which is added to the tinted glass. The new crystal makes it possible to create pieces with free forms, thick, flexible and with a vibrant appearance. The artistic line adopted by the manufacture is to take inspiration from nature and not to stray from the artisanal concept.
These works from the 1950s in crystal have a very low rating in the art market today. Daum has definitely abandoned clear crystal to focus on his favorite material: colored crystal paste.
A secret boot used through generations
Artistic creation and modern know-how have always been Daum's dominant strategy. In fact, art and craftsmanship are always hand in hand in the creations of the famous Nancy crystal maker. The peculiarity and strength of the Daum house lies in its rich historical past, giving rise to more than 400 artistic collaborations.
His secret boot remains there Daum glass paste. This technique which dates back to 5000 years BC was rediscovered by Daum in 1900 and improved in 1968. This delicate material to handle gives the object a sculptural dimension. The paste adds translucency to the shapes it reproduces. In addition, the brilliance, color intensities and shaded tones are exceptional. The result is that each piece is unique.
We agree that Daum is the only crystal maker in the world to have a perfect mastery of the technique of glass paste. The crystal paste allows glass masters to realize all the whims of the imagination. Thanks to the process developed by Daum, the reproduction of the original piece is perfect and meets the artist's expectations.
The artistic collaborations of the crystal maker in 2020:
The Daum house caused a sensation with the launch of the "Born Wild" collection, a bestiary created by the famous contemporary artist Richard Orlinski.
As usual, the crystal maker publishes these works in limited and numbered editions, always signed by the artist. We can see the famous Kong, but also a racy panther, not to mention the wolf and the bear. Isn't art the ultimate luxury? Here is proof of this with this collaboration, which asserts itself as a real pleasure investment in view of the growing success of the artist, who is opening galleries all over the world.
Émilion Robba, famous floral designer, is also continuing the adventure with Daum by offering the Cactus collection, gigantic vases larger than life. Available in green and gray crystal, these creations adapt perfectly to our contemporary uses.