Daum Frères, Nancy
The Daum family were originally lawyers, not glassmakers. Jean Daum, father of the famous Daum brothers family, took over a glassworks near Nancy, France, in 1878 as part payment of a debt. His son Auguste (who had been trained as a lawyer) joined him shortly afterwards, to help improve the business. More than a decade later, and some five years after their father had died, the younger brother Antonin (a newly trained engineer) joined him. It was their business and creative skills which made the "Verrerie de Nancy" a success.The company originally specialised in watch glasses, window glass, and glassware for taverns. They branched out into tableware and exhibited some of their designs at the Paris Exhibition of 1889. Auguste and Antonin Daum were impressed and influenced by the art glass work of Emile Galle which they saw at this exhibition. Starting with enamelled and engraved "art nouveau" style vases, they moved on to become one of the major forces in the Art Nouveau movement, seriously rivalling Galle. When Galle died in 1904 they became the leaders.There have been four major eras in the art glass produced by Daum, namely Art Nouveau, Nouveau Pate-de-Verre, Art Deco and Crystal. Each change in style coincided with a new generation of the Daum family taking over, and keeping the company abreast of current taste and fashions. All Daum art glass was signed, the usual signature being 'Daum Nancy' with the cross of Lorraine incorporated somewhere. Daum glass was always a teamwork effort, and in the early years it was not usually ascribed to a particular artist. Even the pate-de-verre work from the Daum studio run by Almeric Walter between 1906 and 1914 was signed 'Daum Nancy'.