If you aren’t an active participant in the Daum Nancy antique glass market then odds are that you are having some difficulty in accurately valuing your Daum Nancy item. Searching the internet you can find fake items for sale at $25 and you can find fake items for sale at $25,000. Overly optimistic dealers attempting to sell authentic items priced at ten times market value can even further confuse people. There is no set in stone book value or fair market value for a Daum Nancy antique glass item. There are just variables that collectors and dealers use to price these wonderful collectibles.
Condition – As with any antique, condition is a huge determining factor of values for Daum Nancy antiques. Chips, missing pieces, repairs, and hairlines all drastically hurt the values of a lower end Daum Nancy piece. Unlike many other valuable collector’s items, Daum Nancy items should never have been used for anything but decoration. This means that wear and damage is unordinary and usually not tolerated. Don’t try to conserve any Daum piece by yourself.
Size – The least valuable Daum Nancy pieces also tend to be the smallest. A “toothpick holder” or salt cooler is usually worth a few hundred dollars. An intricate well constructed lamp could be worth several thousand dollars. This size to value ratio for Daum Nancy items tends to stem from original sales prices going back to around 1900. Obviously a small knick-knack type item was much more affordable than a large landscape scene on a vase that might have taken dozens of hours to make.
Subject Matter – As a general rule of thumb with Daum Nancy glass, as the subject of the glass becomes more unique the value goes higher. Flowers, thistles, landscapes, trees, and most other flora are very common themes on Daum glass. Uncommon subject matters can draw the attention of collectors. If you are not sure what would count as an interesting subject matter, just pretend you are collector for a moment. Would a perfectly cylindrically flowered vase get your attention, or would a delicately ornamented showpiece attract you? Don’t make valuing Daum Nancy glass harder than it has to be, just use some objective reasoning skills.
Artistic Merit – Artistic merit is similar to subject matter except that an exceptionally well executed common piece will command a premium price over the same sloppy piece.
Construction Technique – We have a detailed guide on the various production techniques the Daum factory used here. The most valuable Daum pieces tend to be internally decorated.
The best thing about collectors is that no one can predict how they will decide to build a collection. Something seemingly unimportant to 99% of collectors could be the most important element of another collector’s assemblage. The above variables are always important, but there are dozens more that can also minutely add or detract from value.