Our museum feature this month is a fun, free-form crystal elephant figurine by the world-renowned Daum Crystal company. This superbly crafted piece features a wonderfully whimsical depiction of an elephant with oversized ears and trunk lifted skyward. This figurine is an exquisite example of Daum’s crystal design expertise.
The story of Daum begins in 1887, when Jean Daum opened a glassworks in Nancy, France. The company quickly hired talented artists and Jean Daum’s son, Antonin, opened the company’s first art studio in 1891. In 1900, the company took part in the Universal Exhibition in Paris, France, where it was awarded the exhibition’s Grand Prix. After experiencing a surge in popularity following the Universal Exhibition, Daum began working with the renowned French artist, Emile Galle. Daum and Galle opened the Ecole de Nancy, a school which is considered by some to be the vanguard of the Art Nouveau movement.
Around this time, Daum contributed to the rediscovery of an ancient glassmaking technique known as “pate de verre
.” In this process, glass (typically colored glass, but not always) is ground to a consistency ranging from a powder to larger, more granular particles. This paste of glass particles is then spread or packed into a mold, which is then fired in a kiln at a very high temperature to fuse the glass particles. The mold is then broken, and the object is released. Daum became famous for their pate de verre crystal pieces throughout the 20th century, and Jacques Daum further refined the process in 1968.
The Daum elephant figurine in our museum is not for sale, but we do have a variety of other Daum items available for purchase in our inventory; be sure to browse our web site. And remember that we always invite you to visit our facilities – here you'll see a stunning variety of silver, china, crystal, and collectibles. Our 500,000-square-foot facilities hold more than 12 million individual pieces in more than 400,000 patterns. Our showroom and museum are open from 9:00 am to 7:00 pm ET, 7 days (except holidays); free tours are available from 10:00 am to 6:00 pm ET, 7 days. The showroom and museum are conveniently located between Greensboro and Burlington, NC, at exit 132 off Interstate 85/40. We look forward to seeing you.