The Daum Family- A Dynasty
Jean Daum, a notary from Bitche, borrowed money to the proprietors of a glass factory. When these men could not repay their debt, Jean Daum became the owner of the factory.
It is the year 1878 in Nancy, just a few years after the German-French war and t he borderline moved close to Nancy and all the rich people, including the Daum family, who found themselves suddenly in German territory, moved to Nancy. Nancy became a prosperous town. Jean Daum risked all his money and the only way to survive was to get every member of the family involved. Two of his sons were to lead the factory. They married daughters of rich businessmen. The dowries these ladies brought into their marriage went straight into the glassfactory. The three daughters of Jean Daum were asked not to marry. He did not want to spent money on their dowry.These women, Louise, Jeanne and Fanny, were non-payed employees the rest of their lives.
The factory started with producing drinking glasses and pitchers. In 1891 they started with artistic glass. The success of Emile Galle was inspiring. As the Daum family was a family of investors and not of artists, they hired the best artists they could find. Jacques Gruber, Henri Berge, Almaric Walter and Charles Schneider were four of the many artists working for Daum. These men could not use their own name. All the vases were signed Daum. The factory produced high quality glass.
In 1900 Daum got his first “ Grand Prix”. Daum’s great achievement were the vitrified vases, they started to make in 1903. These were outstanding. The Daum lamp with the forest is a beautiful example of this technique. Daum did not copy Galle. They found their own path. Ofcourse many of the Galle and Daum vases resemble. They were made in the same era. They both used wheel engraving and acid-etching. But with the intercalair and enamel vases, Daum took his own place in the art nouveau period. People all over the world love these little vases with natural flowers and landscapes. The shapes are attractive, the etching is very refined and the colours are pleasant to the eye. A fine example is the orchid vase.
After the first world war the third generation continued the work their fathers and grandfather had started. The art deco period had begun.