The Hot Bid: Daum glass vase in Prairie pattern could make $18K

A Daum glass vase created circa 1900 in a bulbous stick form and decorated with the Prairie pattern. Jaremos could sell it for $18,000.

NEW YORK – In this edition of The Hot Bid, the subject turns to a French cameo-glass creation by one of the premier makers of the 19th century/early 20th century.

What you see: A circa 1900 Daum glass vase, painted in the Prairie pattern and rendered in a bulbous stick form. It stands a little over 12 inches tall. Jaremos estimates it at $12,000 to $18,000.

The expert: Bruce Orr, founder of Jaremos, which is located in Flower Mound, Texas.

How is the word “Daum” pronounced? [Laughs] It depends on if you’re American or French. Here, it’s “dom”. In France, it’s more like “dome”.

Who, or what, was Daum? Is it still active? Two brothers, August and Antonin Daum, ran a cameo-decorating company at the turn of the century. It was in competition with Émile Gallé, and it was contemporary with Tiffany Studios in the United States. The company was strong until 1913, when World War I shut the factory down, and it ended up being used as a field hospital. After the war, the brothers were too old to continue. One of their sons took over. Daum has been a continuously producing glass house for 130 years.

Does it still make art glass? It still does some. In the 1980s, it did a series with Salvador Dali. Daum is to France what Steuben was to America, as far as stemware.

And the “Nancy” in the title of the lot listing–that is the town in France where Daum is based? Yes. Gallé was the primary glass-maker in Nancy. Daum came second. But in 1904, Gallé died, so it lost its leader a little early. Daum has more appeal to Americans than Europeans because it’s pretty. Americans buy pretty. Americans have always gone pretty. Europeans like technique.

Was there a golden age of Daum art glass? There’s an argument based on whether you’re a fan of Art Nouveau or Art Deco, but 1900 to 1913 is considered the high point.

Do we have any notion of how many pieces of art glass Daum produced during its golden age? I’m sure the records are out there somewhere, but any number I could give you would be a guess. Daum was a big operation. It had 100 artists at one point, decorating the glass.

The lot notes describe the vase as having “iconic Prairie décor”. Was “Prairie” a specific line of art glass that Daum produced? Yes. This is a guess on my part, but it was not popular in its day, compared to the Daum Winter scenes. I might see one Prairie piece for every 100 Winter pieces. Because of that, Prairie is desired by collectors.

This Daum glass vase features the Prairie pattern, which is rare now because it evidently wasn't popular when it was new.

Do we know how many Prairie pieces Daum made, and how many survive? No, but I can tell you that over the last 15 years, eight have sold publicly that I know of.

Would this be the only Daum glass vase you’ve seen that’s in the Prairie style and has a bulbous stick shape? It’s the only one I know of.

How many different shapes did Daum offer in the Prairie line? There could have been 30 to 40 different ones. Most of the time with Prairie, they’re small.

The lot headline calls this Daum glass vase “rare”. What makes it so? Is it purely the Prairie decoration, or does its unusual shape play a role? It really wouldn’t make a difference what shape it has. It could be an ashtray and it would still get attention. This is one of the better ones I’ve seen as far as the shape. That should help it, but it’s the decoration that makes it rare.

Does this bulbous stick form vase show up only in the Prairie line, or do other pieces of Daum take this form? Other Daum pieces have this shape.

The Daum glass vase takes a bulbous stick form that seemingly laughs at the idea of actually serving the function of a vase.What can we tell, just by looking, how difficult this Daum glass vase was to make? As far as the enameling–and again, I don’t mean to downplay it–the decoration itself is not difficult to do. It wouldn’t have been that complicated. The difficulty is in getting the shape. When you consider that they were all hand-blown pieces, that’s saying something.What challenges would the bulbous stick form pose to the glass-blower? Just the consistency. It’s difficult to do it consistently, but Daum, they were masters.In looking at the shape of the Daum glass vase, it almost revels in its inability to function. Was it explicitly designed never to be used to hold flowers? Oh, come on! You could put one flower in it! [Laughs] I don’t think it was meant to be used. Tiffany, Gallé, and Daum were always made for the affluent of the day. It was always strictly a decorative piece.

What condition is the Daum glass vase in, and what condition issues do you tend to see with the bulbous stick form pieces? Anybody can crack or chip these. Once that happens, it takes 90 percent of the value out of the vase. The decoration can wear, and it’s usually worn by exposure to the sun. This one is very clean. On a one to ten scale, it’s about an 8.5. It has pretty strong decoration and not a lot of wear on it at all.

So the sun is the number one enemy of a piece like this? That, and if the owner is a klutz.

The Daum glass vase, tilted to better display the wildflower decorations.What is the Daum glass vase like in person? The delicate flowers on the bottom–I took a shot of the vase laying down so you could see it–I don’t know how you paint this on a piece of glass. The trees have definitive branches and the wildflowers are very delicately done. It doesn’t take a super artist, you just have to have the time to do it.As we speak on March 25, 2021, the Daum glass vase has been bid up to $5,500 with the auction almost three weeks away. Is that meaningful at all, this far out? Yeah. It tells you there’s interest. Normally, most [lots] come close to two or three times their presale estimates. In my last sale, I had a Tiffany red flower formthat was at $5,500 with three weeks to go, and it ended up doing $19,200. [The link reflects the Tiffany piece’s hammer price, or the price before the premium and attendant fees are added.]

What is the world auction record for a piece of Daum art glass in the Prairie style, and what is the record for any Daum piece? The overall record was set in December 2006 at Christie’s by a glass gourd piece that sold for $156,000. The record for a Daum piece in the Prairie style belongs to this same piece, or an identical version of this piece. It was offered in the same 2006 Christie’s auction, and sold for $28,800.

Why will this Daum glass vase stick in your memory? It’s the only one I’ve ever had. You remember the pieces that are really, really rare. When you have pieces this special, it’s exciting.

How to bid: The Daum glass vase is lot 0206 in the Spring Art Glass 2021 auction scheduled at Jaremos on April 14, 2021.

# # #

Pair of entrance doors by Albert Paley, glass elements by Martin Blank, 2004. Image courtesy Hindman

The Hot Bid: Albert Paley doors could command $50K at auction

Pair of entrance doors by Albert Paley, glass elements by Martin Blank, 2004. Image courtesy Hindman

Pair of entrance doors by Albert Paley, glass elements by Martin Blank, 2004. Image courtesy Hindman

What you see: A pair of entrance doors fashioned in 2004 by Albert Paley, with glass elements by Martin Blank. Hindman estimates them at $30,000 to $50,000.

The expert: Hudson Berry, director and senior specialist for the Modern design department at Hindman. Read more

The Hot Bid: apothecary sign lighted the way to drug store

The apothecary trade sign glowing with its light turned on. Image courtesy of Cowan’s

What you see: A lighted apothecary trade sign, covered with colored pieces of glass and dating to the 1920s. Cowan’s Auctions estimates it at $1,000 to $2,000.

The expert: Ben Fisher, director of Americana for Hindman. [Hindman and Cowan’s merged in 2019.]

Read more

The Hot Bid: double Ferris wheel toy could turn $15,000

The Mohr & Krauss double Ferris wheel toy from the Schroeder Collection is pictured in David Pressland’s book ‘The Art of The Tin Toy.’ Image courtesy of Bertoia Auctions

What you see: A Mohr & Krauss double Ferris wheel toy, dating to circa 1905. Bertoia Auctions estimates it at $10,000 to $15,000.

The expert: Auctioneer Michael Bertoia of Bertoia Auctions in Vineland, New Jersey.

Read more

The Hot Bid: ‘The Race’ is on for Thomas Hart Benton litho

Thomas Hart Benton, ‘The Race,’ lithograph, 1942, 8 x 13¼in, full margins. Edition of 250. Signed in pencil, lower right. Estimate: $10,000-$15,000. Image courtesy of Swann Galleries

What you see: The Race, a 1942 Thomas Hart Benton lithograph based on his oil painting titled Homeward Bound. Swann Auction Galleries estimates it at $10,000 to $15,000.

Read more

The Hot Bid: Banking on a Girl Skipping Rope

J. & E. Stevens’ Girl Skipping Rope is considered the ultimate in cast-iron mechanical bank design. Morphy Auctions image

What you see: An antique mechanical bank in the form of a girl skipping rope. Morphy Auctions, which will auction the bank on February 27, 2021, estimates it at $60,000 to $90,000.

The expert: Collector Bob Brady, consignor of the Girl Skipping Rope mechanical bank.

Read more

The Hot Bid: Heisler’s decoy pair attracting more than ducks

Crafted and painted by Delaware River region carver Jess Heisler around 1920, this pair of sleeping mallard decoys is expected to sell for $20,000-$30,000. Copley Fine Art Auctions image

What you see: A pair of sleeping mallard duck decoys by Delaware River region carver Jess Heisler around 1920. Copley Fine Art Auctions estimates the pair at $20,000 to $30,000.

The expert: Colin McNair, decoy specialist for Copley Fine Art Auctions.

Read more

The Hot Bid: Edward Millman WPA fresco detail

The Edward Millman fresco detail of a post office mural contracted by the WPA. Swann Auction Galleries image

What you see: A fresco detail by Edward Millman of a mural panel he painted on the walls of the St. Louis post office for the Works Progress Administration (WPA). Swann Auction Galleries estimates it at $3,000 to $4,000.

The expert: Harold Porcher [pronounced Por-SHAY], director of modern and postwar art at Swann Auction Galleries.

Read more

The Hot Bid: Eldred’s hosts Cahoon’s ‘Wedding Dance’

Ralph Eugene Cahoon Jr., ‘Wedding Dance,’ oil on Masonite painting, circa 1960s. Image courtesy of Eldred’s.

What you see: Wedding Dance, a circa 1960s oil on Masonite painting by Ralph Eugene Cahoon Jr. Eldred’s estimates it at $30,000-$50,000.

Read more

The Hot Bid: rare Caille Triple Centaur slot machine

The Caille Brothers Co. of Detroit was one of the largest manufacturers of coin slot apparatus in the world. Image courtesy of Morphy Auctions

What you see: A Caille (pronounced Kay-lee) Brothers Triple Centaur musical upright machine, built between 1898 and 1905. Morphy Auctions estimates it at $200,000 to $300,000.

The expert: Tom Tolworthy, chief executive officer at Morphy Auctions.

Read more