By Simone | 7th February 2019
For Valentine’s Day this year we decided to do what we do best: celebrate our shared love for unique and hard-to-find objects. To do so, we asked some of our passionate experts, sellers and users a couple of questions. Today, we are sharing the story of one of our sellers and how he went from not even knowing what Swarovski is to a passionate collector and seller.
The seller's passion started when he met his wife: “Before I met my wife in 1995, I didn’t even know about the existence of Swarovski. In one of her display cabinets at home, she had a few pieces of the series ‘crystal memories’.” This is a series of small Swarovski items that were initially designed as gifts. All of these items portrayed something nostalgic: vintage toys, like a rocking horse or old school household items. They were very small but very intricate, with beautiful golden details. “I decided to buy my wife a necklace and a matching bracelet and earrings by Swarovski for Christmas and then a bunch of grapes for Valentine’s. After that, I signed us both up for the SCS (Swarovski Crystal Society).”
Collecting Swarovski can also bring you closer to other people, and even end up in friendships. “The first item we bought on eBay was the SCS Pegasus, which I picked up myself from the seller in Eindhoven. He had been selling on the internet for a couple of years at that point, and we actually ended up becoming good friends. Sadly, he passed away in the summer of 2018.”
Over the years he's has seen a lot of wonderful pieces, but the time he visited Kristallwelten for the first time is hard to top. “In the summer we planned an excursion to the Kristallwelten Wattens, or the ‘Swarovski Crystal Worlds’, where we overheard two people talking about Swarovski. We joined the conversation, and later we found out the men were actually Martin Zendron, one of the designers at Swarovski, and Markus Langes-Swarovski, whose great-great-grandfather was the founder of the company. After dinner, we got invited to Markus Langes’ house, which is near Kristallwelten. He gave us a short tour of his private collection, and what I saw there really sparked my imagination: a life-size white stallion in the entree and a chandelier that had to be at least 3 meters in diameter. On a separate day, one of the employees gave us a private tour.”
After three months they visited again when they met another interesting person in a very important role. “This person gave me access to some exclusive items that were only available in a limited number of 100 pieces worldwide. Nowadays, I travel to Austria 5 or 6 times a year to visit stores and Kristallwelten on the hunt for special and unique pieces, and our collection has grown a lot over the years. We now have around 5 display cabinets. I’ve been in contact with a number of Swarovski stores in the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg and Austria, which is how I got a hold on many vintage pieces.”
He doesn’t see his passion fading anytime soon. In fact, he is even inspiring the next generation: “Next to my day job at ‘Nationale Munt’ (National Coin), I spend nearly every weekend with my son, who also caught the ‘Swarovski-bug’. I’ve been occupied with Swarovski for about 24 years now, and there aren’t a lot of pieces I haven’t seen yet. My passion for Swarovski will last for the rest of my life -- which I hope will be a long time!“
Finally, he has some advice for collectors: “Get private insurance, on the current market value, specifically for Swarovski. Keep the packaging too, as this is proof that the pieces were in your collection; in the case something ever happens. You never know.”
Just as passionate about Swarovski as this seller? Good news! Our experts have curated a special Valentine's collection for you this week, that’s definitely worth a visit.
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