Most of Daum's crystal is pâte de verre which was created approximately 5,000 years ago when people had the idea of heating glass to a high temperature, obtaining a sort of paste which could be worked by hand. They created jewelry, amulets and little perfume bottles that have since been found in Egyptian tombs.
However, pâte de verre fell out of use for several thousand years and was even forgotten. It was not until the late nineteenth century that this material was "rediscovered" and used by the sculptor Henri Cross for the benefit of Daum. Its use has been steadily on the increase ever since. Today Daum is the only crystal manufacturer in the world able to create this outstanding material with an output that, in quality as well as quantity, can meet international demand.
Daum was founded in Nancy in 1887, opened its Art Department in 1891 and won renown for its Art Nouveau creations. After taking part in the 1900 Universal Exhibition, Daum joined forces with Galle and founded the Ecole de Nancy (School of Nancy). It was not until 1950 that Jacques Daum decided to use crystal, which is glass with a 24% lead content, causing the pâte de verre to take on the brilliance and relief for which it is know today. Indeed, it is actually "pâte de cristal."