MY DAUM CRYSTAL COLLECTION: AUTOS, BOATS, TRAINS, PLANES, BIRDS, DOLPHINS, AND OTHER ANIMALS, LIMITED EDITIONS, CLOCKS, CATALOGS, AND MORE!
There are currently 35 known automobiles directly manufactured by Daum, including standard editions, limited editions, custom designs, and relief (1/2 width) cars, and the smaller cars. These cars range in length from 8” to 17” in length, and range in scale from 1:20 to 1:12, making them some of the largest high quality lead crystal cars ever produced. In addition to the 35 physical cars, there are 2 known Daum paperweights with car images. There is also one additional car which was manufactured by Daum's sister company, Cristal de Sevres, also signed by Claude Nicolas. Thus there are a total of 38 collectible Daum Automobile pieces in a full collection. In addition see below for information about 5 Daum concept cars that were never produced, and are not included in the 38 pieces of a full collection.
There are a number of collectors who solely collect the Daum automobiles. Others, like myself, collect a much wider range of Daum pieces. Particularly with the cars, I am a “purist” in that I collect not only the cars, but also the metal car nameplates, complete original boxes, and coordinating numbered certificates of authenticity for the limited edition pieces.
It should be noted that it is unlikely Daum made very large quantities of most of the cars. The first and most common car is the Coupe Riviera. All others are less common in varying degrees. In many cases we now have verified production numbers for the cars. Other production numbers are hopefully coming soon. In all cases the actual production numbers are much lower than many anticipated. As an example, each limited edition convertible, which are individually numbered as part of an edition of 2500, were never produced in quantities over 320. I personally have never run into a S/N over 331 for any of these convertibles. The ultra rare Aston Martin DB5 and the Jaguar MKII are even significantly lower than the convertible numbers.
Please note that the list below is the complete list of every known Daum car. In this section only, I am listing all the pieces in this category and have indicated with an asterisk which cars I do not have in my collection.
Xavier Froissart was the creator of the crystal car concept for Daum, which he launched in 1984 with the Coupe Riviera. As the first and foremost of the Daum automobile designers, he designed the vast majority of the Daum cars from 1984 through 1994. Claude Nicolas also designed some of the cars starting in 1986, all of which were signed "Claude Nicolas" and generally not signed by Daum, with the exception of the Ferrari 456. In general all the Daum cars were designed by either Xavier Froissart or Claude Nicolas, although there were a few car items of generic design, such as the car paperweights. See either the individual cars for the designer, or see the individual designer for a list of his designs.
My collection continues to reach higher levels of perfection!
I have been lucky to acquire the Daum Concept car Coupe XF1 signed by Xavier Froissart. This smaller prototype car was one of 5 concept creations that Daum actually made in crystal before deciding to embrace the large car format for retail production. This is believed to be the only Coupe XF1 in existance. See more info on these Prototypes below, as well as the Coupe XF1 webpage.
In addition, I have now acquired S/N "EA 1" of 3 of the Daum Convertibles: the '56 Thunderbird, the '53 Corvette, and the '53 Cadillac, some of the more collectible cars in the whole Daum category. These cars are known as "EA" cars as they are the Artist's Examples ("Epreuve d'Artiste" in French) and the first pieces off the production line. Each of these cars is signed by the Designer, Xavier Froissart, are marked "EA 1", and comes with a custom box and nameplate. There are actually many "EA" cars and other items in existence. Click on the "EA" highlight for more information. Also click on any car for detailed pictures for these one-of-a-kind cars. Please note that these convertibles were the first pieces off the production line, but were not designated S/N 0001/2500. Instead they were given to Xavier before numbering started, and thus each should be considered S/N 0/2500. Please also note that an "EA 1" of the Mustang Convertible does not exist per Xavier. I have also acquired the "EA 1" of the Porsche 911 Carerra Daum car.
Due to the large number of Daum automobiles, they are divided into the following categories:
* Cars I am missing from my collection.
There are 13 standard production cars that Daum produced in the large size cars, and all are listed in the Automobile Mini Brochure. The Coupe Riviera was the first and most popular car produced, while the rest sold with varying degrees of success. No one knows exactly how many of each car was produced, but the quantities were not as high as one might think. Many collectors, especially early on, concentrate on just collecting these 13 standard cars.
These cars were sold through Daum dealers. Some came with metal nameplates while others did not. Throughout the years both original boxes and the metal nameplates have disappeared. The metal nameplates have now become somewhat of a collectors item in their own right.
Daum designed and produced 6 limited edition automobiles as part of their on-going regular production, each of which were limited editions, and each of which were individually numbered. Four of the cars were convertible models of American classics: the 53 Corvette, the 53 Cadillac, an early T-bird, and an early Mustang. Each of these convertibles were supposed to be limited to an edition size of 2500. The other two cars were classic English cars: the Aston Martin DB5, and the Jaguar MK II. The two English cars were each part of a very small edition size of 250.
Unfortunately for Daum, they never came close to selling 2500 of any of the convertibles, or 250 of either of the English cars, so the actual edition size was much smaller. Thanks to a contact in Daum, we have now discovered the actual edition sizes of each of these cars. See the web page for each car to find our exactly how many were made. See also the Mustang page for a very interesting discovery of a S/N that is higher than the production quantity for that car. Daum obviously had some cars ruined after serialization.
Each of these cars came with a metal name plate (unnumbered), a Daum Automobile mini brochure (unnumbered), and a certificate of authenticity which had the serial number of the car written on it. In addition, the label on each box also had the corresponding serial number written on it. A truly complete limited edition car consists of the car, the name plate, the mini brochure, the certificate of authenticity, and the box (with all inserts), all with matching serial numbers where appropriate.
I would love to hear from others who have these cars, along with their car’s serial numbers, especially if you have a serial number higher than the production number I have on the individual web pages.
Note: To the best of my knowledge, none of the limited edition cars
ever appeared in a catalog or mini brochure with the other cars. In fact,
I do not have any catalog or brochure that lists any of the limited edition
cars or other specialty cars, although I am sure such advertising had
to exist. I would love to hear from anyone who has original advertising
info on these cars.
Daum produced a number of custom cars for car manufacturers and certain of their retail dealers. Many of these were designed by or under the direction of Claude Nicolas, and these are itemized on the Claude Nicolas Cars page. In addition three other cars have been identified as being made for specific Daum retail dealers.
The “Mercedes 500SL” was a custom design produced specifically for a jewelry store in Texas. This was a large (1:12 scale) car that was signed Daum, but not numbered. The actual edition size of this car is under 500 pieces.
The “Grand Prix N:1” was a specifically created alternate version of the standard “Grand Prix”, however it is etched with the number “1” rather than the number “2” on their standard edition. It is believed this cars was specially ordered for an international corporation through one of Daum’s European retailers. It is not serialized, but is signed Daum, and did come with a metal name sign. The actual edition size of this car is unknown, but assumed to be very small. I consider this to be a distinct and separate collectible car from the number "2" Grand Prix.
The Alfa Romeo SZ was a custom design specifically made for Alfa Romeo. It was a numbered limited edition of 300 pieces. Alfa Romeo did not sell these to the best of my knowledge, but gave them away, as marketing gifts to top clients and the press. (Thanks to Harry Hoving as the best known source for Alfa SZ information. His web site is www.alfasz.nl, then go to SZ-Stuff)
Daum also designed and produced a series of four stylized Relief cars which were smaller in scale (1:20 approx) than their larger cars. In addition the Relief cars where only ½ width cars, typically about 1 ½” deep, and with the back and rear ends of the pieces being flat. The four Relief cars were included in the standard Automobile mini brochure that was included with many of the cars. The four original Relief cars are: “L’Automobile”, “Deauville”, “Marly”, and “Monza”.
Daum also produced a fifth Relief car that was a combination piece of a clock, tall skyscrapers, all sitting atop of a relief car. The car in this piece is of an even smaller scale (perhaps 1:24), although the entire piece is good sized. This piece was named “Manhattan” and appeared in the 1988 Catalog.
Daum made a total of 4 Alfa Romeo’s, all in the smaller 1:20 scale. Three of these were standard production items, the Alfa 33, 155, and 164. A fourth Alfa was custom made in 1989 directly for Alfa Romeo, the Alfa SZ, which was a limited edition of 300 pieces. The Alfa Romeo 155 is the most common of the cars, while the 33 and 164 are a bit harder to find. The SZ is extremely rare and is coveted both by Daum Collectors and by Alfa SZ owners.
During 1986 and the early 1990’s, Claude Nicolas in conjunction with Daum, was involved in the creation of a number of cars specifically for the Ferrari, Range Rover, and Peugeot auto companies, to sell through their dealers and accessory retailers. It is currently unclear whether Claude Nicolas was actually involved in the design of these pieces, commissioned them specifically, or was only involved in the marketing of these pieces. In any event each of these automobiles were etched with the name Claude Nicolas, albeit in different variations from car to car.
The Claude Nicolas cars are divided into two groups: The large scale (1:14) cars, and the small scale (1:20) cars,
The large cars include:
The small cars include:
Note: There has always been continuing discussion among Daum Automobile Collectors as to the manufacturing origin of these Claude Nicolas cars. In discussions with knowledgeable people in France and ex-Daum employees, I am confident that the Testarossa, Range Rover, and Peugeot 205 were all made my Daum in its own production facility.
The fact that the boxes for the Range Rover, Testarossa, and Peugeot 205 show the manufacturer as "Kan International" is misleading. In actuality, it is believed that "Kan International" was a Daum wholesaler who re-packaged at least some of this production to market under the “Kan International” name. Today Kan International is an international trading company and can be found at www.kanintlcorp.com
There is at least one additional car which, while not made by Daum directly, was produced by one of Daum's sister companies, and was also a Creation of Claude Nicolas.This car, the Peugeot 905, was made under by Cristal de Sevres, which was another high quality and well known French Crystal maker, and which was actually owned by Daum’s parent company, AXA, during the late 1980’s and 1990’s when these cars were produced. The Peugeot 905 is the only known car actually signed "Cristal de Sevres", as well as having the :"Creation Claude Nicolas Paris" also engraved on it. As such I believe it is a valuable and integral addition to any complete Daum Automobile collection. It is further interesting that certain variations exist as a limited edition production run. See Peugeot 905 for relevant pictures.
Daum made a whole series of Paperweights with various images pressed into them: Autos, Horses, Flowers, etc. The only 2 Auto related paperweights I know of are an image of a Citroen, and an image of a Renault. I do not know if there are other Auto images. However since the paperweights are signed Daum and show specific car images, I believe they should be included in a complete Daum car collection. If anyone has one of these paperweights with a different car, please let me know so I can add it to the Auto Database.
Xavier Froissart, designer of the majority of the the Daum crystal cars and other items, typically received one, two and sometimes up to four Artist Examples ("Epreuve d'Artiste" in French) of each of his designs, that were given to him personally. These were typically the first production units that actually came off the production line, and were designated"EA 1" through "EA 4" respectively. Each piece, in addition to being signed "Daum France", was also personally signed "X. Froissart" and numbered : "EA 1" up to"EA 4". On the some Limited Edition pieces (MKII and DB5), these were the same as S/N's 001 and 002. For other Limited Edition pieces (the Convertibles), these were produced before the numbered editions were started and essentially are S/N 0. For non-limited edition pieces, these are the only examples that are actually numbered in the series.
Typically there were only one or two EA cars of each model, although it is known that there were four EA examples of Manhattan, which seems to be the exception. It is known that some of the "EA 2 " cars were sold by Xavier in the past, and are in existence out in the secondary world. If one ever comes up for sale it should be considered a premium piece. To the best of my knowledge Xavier still owns all other EA 1 pieces, and any remaining EA 2 pieces
Before Daum formally decided to create a line of crystal cars, several concept cars were designed and actually built on a very limited basis (1 to 3 units total each). Of these prototype cars, one of each went to Xavier Froissart, which were signed by him personally (similar to EA cars, but these were not so marked as EA's). It is not known if any other examples of each prototype still exist, as they were probably recycled.
Perhaps Xavier describes them best:
"I have several unique Daum prototypes, which were the very first trial examples of various car models I began creating for Daum, from 1983 onwards.
These are signed X. Froissart, but not with the Daum France trademark. Prototypes, being trial models, were not signed by Daum. They are unique historic pieces showing the first steps in the creation of my crystal car concept for Daum.
The prototypes I have in my collection are as follows :
Coupé XF 1 : 21 cm long, 1983
This Riviera is a hollow sculpture (without the interior sanded seats and engine) but with sanded parts on the sides, tyres, flancs. It is a beautiful piece which I later developed into the Riviera model you have.
When I first had the idea for a large crystal car, Riviera, the Daum
president (my uncle Pierre de Chérisey) and the executive team
thought it would be a good idea to make a series of smaller cars too.
The small car prototypes cited above were finally not produced and we
stuck with the large car concept. In the end I made (at their request)
the car bas-relief plaques Monza, Marly and Deauville."
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