This glass vase was a wedding present in the 1900s, our antiques expert determines what this reader's family heirloom is worth today.
My great-great-grandmother received this glass vase as a wedding gift in 1911. It’s 6 1/2 inches tall and marked “Daum Nancy” but I know nothing more about it. What can you tell me?
—P.Z., Roblin, Manitoba
What’s It Worth?
A: Your ovoid vase is from a glass factory in Nancy, France, that was owned by Jean Daum. A notary and financier, he took it over in 1878, after the owners couldn’t repay a debt. To keep the factory afloat, he put the dowries from his daughters-in-law straight into the business; he also forbade his own daughters from marrying, because he would not provide a dowry.
Your vase was produced during the company’s glory days, from roughly 1904 to 1914, when it was recognized as a leader in decorative glass. The company hired the finest artists, and pioneered and revolutionized techniques such as wheel engraving and acid etching in carved and colored cameo art nouveau glass.
Flowers and historic symbols of the Lorraine region were the themes Daum Nancy most often used; note the cross of Lorraine in the mark on the back. Your vase includes maple leaves, alluding to a large lake in this shape in the heart of Lorraine, and gooseberries, native to many parts of France. Art Nouveau Daum Nancy pieces are collectible. If in perfect shape, your vase is worth about $450.
—Barbara J. Eash (Country Woman Magazine’s Antiques Expert)