Vase, with deer motif, glass, made by Daum, Nancy, France, c. 1925
Depicting a buck deer on one side and doe deer on the other, this vase was made by the French glass manufacturer Daum (est.1878) around 1925. It is an example of Art Deco, the fashionable international style of the inter-war period (1918-39) which was often inspired by Cubism and African art.
Daum excelled in the production of Art Deco glassware and its designers favoured geometric forms as well as thicker and more transparent glass which contrasted with slender shapes and flowing lines of Art Nouveau glassware so popular at the turn of the century.. In the 1920s, the Art Nouveau colours inspired by nature changed to the colours which dominated contemporary abstract paintings, such as topaz, blues and ambers. Designs were increasingly monochromatic and variations of moon white, beige, glacier blue and light yellows were particularly popular. Vases, bowls and lamp shades no longer relied on the glassblowing technique but were cast and decorated with cut and acid-etched stylised patterns, as illustrated by this vase. The new manager Paul Daum was chemist by training and experimented with the use of hydrofluoric acid to vary surface textures of the glass. Towards the middle of the 1920s, friezes, volutes, curved beams or chevron patterns gave rhythm to compositions.
Daum's Art Deco glass was shown at the 1925 Exposition Internationale des Arts Décoratifs et Industries Modernes in Paris. One of their vases on display was a deer vase almost identical to this example. The exhibition vase however, was smaller and the figures were rendered more naturalistically, for example the doe was represented with spots on its back. The Museum vase is larger, heavier and has bolder motifs. The two dear figures in particular, were further stylised to appear more dignified and poised, unmistakably Art Deco. The revised design, most likely produced not long after the Paris display, was issued in at least two colourways: smoky brown and olive green, as seen in this vase.
Eva Czernis-Ryl, 2007
J. Bloch-Dermant, 'Le Verre En France: D'Emile Gallé à Nos Jours', Editions de l'Amateur, 1986, p.49
C. Bacri, 'Daum, Masters of French Decorative Glass', Thames & Hudson, London, 1992, p.215 (ill)
The vase was made by Daum in Nancy, France in about 1925.