A primer on Daum Nancy signatures

My goal is to publish new posts twice a week — Mondays and Thursdays. However, if you don’t see a new post on Thursday, it’s because I was too busy, so please look for a new one the following Monday.


Engraved signature on the Daum vase in question

Engraved signature on the Daum vase in question

I decided to write this blog post because of an interesting thread yesterday on my wife’s Facebook group, Antiques Identified. Matthew Scott submitted a Daum Nancy vase for authentication and evaluation. All of the replies to the post were on the money until Norman C. Callis made the following comment. “The bottom does not look right. The Daum Nancy glass house almost always signed their name on the side. With Cameo glass the name Daum Nancy would be wheel cut just like the rest of the design of the outside layer of glass.” As this was in error, I jumped in to explain that Daum frequently signed vases on the undersides, either by engraving, acid-etching, enamel hand-painting or gilding. Click here if you want to read the complete thread.

There is no one correct Daum signature. In fact, there are many different signatures and they’re all correct. Henry Blount, in his book French Cameo Glass devoted two full pages to various Daum signatures, which are just samples of the many authentic Daum signatures.

Daum acid-etched and enameled cameo signature

Daum acid-etched and enameled cameo signature

Daum signatures were frequently acid-etched, so they appear as raised cameo signatures, always found together with the Cross of Lorraine. They are usually found on the sides of vases, and rarely, if ever, on the undersides.

Daum hand-painted black enamel signature

Daum hand-painted black enamel signature

Many Daum vases are both acid-etched and enameled. These vases are often found with hand-painted enamel signatures on the undersides, mostly in black.

Daum hand-painted gilded signature

Daum hand-painted gilded signature

If a vase has gilding in the decoration or on the rim or the foot, the signature was often hand-painted in gold (gilded) on the underside. As long as the artist was holding a brush in his/her hand, it was convenient to use the same brush to paint the signature.

Engraved (wheel-carved) Daum signature on the foot rim of an inkwell

Engraved (wheel-carved) Daum signature on the foot rim of an inkwell

The same holds true for engraved vases. As long as the engraver was holding an engraving tool, he/she might as well engrave the signature. It is sometimes found on the foot rim or the underside (as in the first vase above from my wife’s Facebook group).

This hand-painted Daum signature is a work of art

This hand-painted Daum signature is a work of art

On rare occasions, the signature itself is a work of art, as on a monumental Fall scenic vase I sold recently.

Reproduction Daum vase with fake signature

Reproduction Daum vase with fake signature

Reproduction vases can also be signed “Daum Nancy”, with authentic-looking signatures. Spotting these vases can be very difficult for novices and not much easier for many others.


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5 thoughts on “A primer on Daum Nancy signatures

  1. I have a yellow glass vase w. Twisted handles (almost looks like a conch shell) and there are 3 signatures!! Daun Nancy + faumn or something like that!!! Can u help?

  2. My fee is $125 for appraisals/authentications. Please let me know if you wish to continue.

  3. Hi
    I have a pink vase 10″ high 7″ wide at the bottom ending at the top 4″
    pink with black images of dancing fairies and prancing hounds.
    Signed Daum Nancy around the base.

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