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