Jul 302012
 

In 1989, Swarovski was near the end of the first SCS trilogy, “Caring and Sharing”.  The final SCS figurine in this series was the Swarovski Turtledoves, by Adi Stocker.

Swarovski Turtledoves - Amour, SCS AE 1989

Swarovski SCS Turtledoves - Amour, 1989 Annual Edition

The Swarovski Turtledoves could be purchased only in 1989 by Swarovski SCS members.

The Swarovski Amour Turtledoves is approximately 3.5” long.  From a quick description of this crystal figurine, they might sound like the Swarovski Lovebirds: 2 amorous clear birds with frosted beaks, perched on a frosted branch.

The ‘backstamp / bottomstamp’ is found on the side of the Turtledoves branch, where the branch is clear, (as it is quite difficult to see on frosted crystal, like on the Swarovski Woodpeckers).  The backstamp, consisting of the Swarovski Swan, the letters SCS, the designer’s initials “ASt” and the year “89”, is easily visible.

The Turtledoves are identified using the Swarovski part number DO1x891 or the system number 117 895 was revealed.

It is interesting to note that the SCS Turtledoves crystal component for the birds’ wings is the same component used for the wings on the Swarovski Woodpeckers and the ears on the 1990 Swarovski Dumbo figurine!

The crystal giant has also produced one other Turtledoves design, by a different designer Gabriele Stamey.  This more recent Swarovski Turtledoves figurine was introduced in 2004 and can presently be purchased in the Swarovski shoppe.  The most striking differences between the Amour Turtledoves and Silver Crystal Turtledoves are the frosted beaks (SCS AE)vs topaz beaks (Silver Crystal) and resting birds (SCS AE) vs a bird with its wings spread (Silver Crystal).  Also, the SCS AE Turtledoves are a bit smaller 3.5” long vs 4.25” for the newer Silver Crystal design.

A special thanks to Jane Warner for consultations made during the writing of this Swarovski Turtledoves article.  Jane is the Swarovski expert author of Warner’s Blue Ribbon Books on Swarovski.

In 1989, the MSRP of the SCS Swarovski Turtledoves was for $195 USD .  Just like the other ‘Caring and Sharing’ figurines, the purchase price included the crystal figure, a custom box for the Turtledoves, and a Swarovski COA (certificate of authenticity).    Collectors who want to purchase the Swarovski Turtledoves  from a Swarovski expert dealer, like Crystal Exchange America, should expect to pay $550 – $650 for the SCS Turtledoves in mint condition with original box and certificate.

Jul 162012
 

The Swarovski Woodpeckers were available for purchase only in 1988 for collectors who were members in the Swarovski SCS.  In the last article about Swarovski Woodpeckers, the most common variation was the focus of the article.  In the previous article, it was not mentioned that Swarovski released 2 different versions of the Swarovski AE.  However, this article will expand on the Woodpeckers variations and what makes them unique.

Displaying the two variations of SCS Woodpeckers side-by-side, it is not possible to distinguish the variations.  While there are often great differences in the positioning of the birds and how close or far apart the mother beak is from the baby beak, this is not what makes them unique.  To identify the variations, one must look at the very bottom of the figurine where the backstamp is located.

The Woodpeckers ‘Sharing’, variation 1 (as it is referenced in Warner’s Blue Ribbon Books on Swarovski) has a frosted base.  The bottom side looks a lot like the trunk as it is not possible to see into it.  The backstamp is difficult to see as it too has a frosted-like appearance.

The Woodpeckers ‘Sharing’, variation 2 (as it is referenced in Warner’s Blue Ribbon Books on Swarovski) has a clear base.  The bottom side is clear, just like the top of the trunk that the birds are attached to.  The backstamp is easy to see as it has a frosted-like look.  (Remember, the backstamp is the year of the Woodpeckers “88”, and the designer’s (Adi Stocker) initials “A St”.

Both 1988 Swarovski  Woodpeckers were known using the Swarovski part number DO1X881 and system number  014 745.  Swarovski did not assign unique numbers to them even though they were different.  Furthermore, it was not possible to order a specific variation, and for the most part the variations went undocumented for many years.

Backstamp on Clear Base of 1998 Swarovski SCS Woodpeckers

Swarovski SCS Woodpeckers showing Backstamp on Clear Base

Some Swarovski Crystal Fanatics make the mistake of looking at the top of the trunk and become excited seeing a clear top, thinking that the bottom will be clear too.  This is not the case.  ALL Woodpecker trunks are clear on the top, so when looking at the trunk to determine the variation, it is the bottom that must be examined.

So why are there differences in the trunk base?  According to a former employee, the SCS Woodpeckers were supposed to have a clear base.  But something did not go as planned during manufacturing, and the trunks had to be, more or less, ‘filed’ to make the bottom smooth and allow the Woodpeckers figurine to stand upright.  The next step should have been to re-polish the trunk base to restore it to its original intended design.  But that did not occur….the trunks were ‘backstamped’ and used as is.  So, in short, the filing the base and leaving it with a frosted-like appearance was a corrective action taken when the bases did not come out of the mold process ‘just right’.

A special thanks to Jane Warner, co-author to Warner’s Blue Ribbon Books on Swarovski for consulting on the articles about the second SCS Annual Edition exclusively for SCS members: the Swarovski Woodpeckers.

In 1988, the SCS Swarovski Woodpeckers retailed for $165 USD.  For this price, the SCS member received the crystal figurine, an octagon-shaped display mirror with a Swarovski logo, an SCS custom box for the figurine, and a Swarovski COA (certificate of authenticity).    While Swarovski Woodpeckers Variation 1 (Frosted Base),  in mint condition, complete with mirror, and original packaging can usually be purchased on the secondary market for $1000 – $1400.  Swarovski Woodpeckers Variation 2 (Clear Base),  in mint condition, complete with mirror, and original packaging is much harder to and likely will cost $2500 – $2800 from Swarovski expert dealers, like Crystal Exchange America.  At the present time, they have one Variation 2 Woodpeckers crystal figurine only (no box, no certificate, no mirror) at $1875 plus shipping.  Personally, since they cannot be distinguished displayed on a shelf, I would have a hard time spending the extra $1,000 to get Variation 2 over Variation 1.

Jul 152012
 

Following the Swarovski Lovebirds, the Swarovski Woodpeckers was the second figurine in the ‘Caring and Sharing’ series.  The Woodpeckers ‘Sharing’, were available for purchase only in 1988 by Swarovski SCS members.  By then, SCS membership had grown and was available in more countries than just the English-speaking ones.

Swarovski SCS Woodpeckers -1988 Annual Edition 'Sharing',

Swarovski SCS Woodpeckers - 'Sharing', 1988 Annual Edition

 

The Swarovski Sharing Woodpeckers stands just over 4” tall.  It is a figurine with 2 clear birds, attached a frosted tree trunk.  The birds are a mother woodpecker (the bird with the full body) and a baby woodpecker, with its head peeking out of the tree.  Since the figurines are hand-assembled, we often see the woodpeckers at various angles and proximity from each other.  Sometimes the beaks are so close that you can barely slip a piece of paper between them, while other figurines may have the woodpeckers situated such that the beaks are nearly ¼” apart.

Adi Stocker is the designer of the Swarovski Woodpeckers.  The SCS Woodpeckers were the first SCS figurine he created with full credit from the crystal brand.  Since that year, Adi Stocker has designed 4 other Swarovski AE figurines.

 

The Sharing Woodpeckers contain the ‘backstamp / bottomstamp’, which is included for the sake of authenticity.  Looking closely at the underside of the frosted tree trunk, the year “88” can be seen.  Per Swarovski’s definition, the designer’s initials “A St” should be visible, but it must be very faint.

Backstamp of the Swarovski 1988 SCS Woodpeckers

Woodpeckers Backstamp (Frosted Base)

The Woodpeckers were known using the Swarovski part number DO1X881, and when Swarovski began using system numbers for identification, 014 745 was divulged, so it can be identified using either number.

Since the 1988 SCS Woodpeckers, the crystal giant has produced other Swarovski woodpecker figurines:

  • Swarovski Woodpeckers, Black Diamond  by Elisabeth Adamer.  These Swarovski Woodpeckers, in the Paradise line, retires in 2012.
  • Swarovski Woodpecker, Ziggy by Edith Mair.  This Woodpecker, in the Lovlots line, was a limited edition figurine available in 2010 only.

The SCS Swarovski Woodpeckers retailed for $165 USD in 1988.  The purchase price included the crystal figurine, an octagon-shaped display mirror, a custom box for the figurine, and a Swarovski COA (certificate of authenticity).    The Swarovski Woodpeckers,  in mint condition, complete with mirror, and original packaging can usually be purchased on the secondary market for $1000 – $1400, from Swarovski expert dealers, like Crystal Exchange America.

Jul 102012
 

We have terrific news for bird fanatics and Swarovski crystal collectors….the Swarovski Gouldian Finches are available for purchase in the Swarovski online shoppe!

Gouldian Finches

Swarovski Gouldian Finches

I can’t say that I have previously heard of this particular breed of bird.  But oh my….they are so beautiful!  The male Gouldian Finch’s colors are so vibrant.  It’s not a wonder that these birds are also known as the Rainbow Finch.

The Swarovski Gouldian Finches are 2 brightly colored birds, perched on a silver-colored metal stand.  The bird pair stands about 4 ½ inches tall.  The Gouldian Finches are in the Swarovski Paradise product line, which is where the same product line that includes many of the other colored-bird crystal figurines.  The article number for the Swarovski Gouldian Finches is 1141675. The crystal brand gives Dominic Schöpf credit for the stunning design of these newest rainbow birds.  While the Swarovski Peridot Gouldian Finches retail for $690,  something tells me that they are completely worth it looking at the image in the online shoppe!

The Swarovski Gouldian Finches would look great displayed with other Swarovski Birds.  If you are a bird lover and crystal collector, check out the discount and retired Swarovski birds available at Crystal Exchange America!

Jun 292012
 

2012 is the 25th anniversary of the Swarovski Crystal Society (better known as the Swarovski SCS).   According to the crystal brand, there are over 300,000 members in their exclusive Swarovski club.  Swarovski is commemorating the event with some special figurines, including the Swarovski Jubilee Dragon.   Kristall Buzz is going to join in on the celebration featuring articles on the Swarovski Annual Editions over the next couple of months.  Swarovski Lovebirds are the feature crystal figure of this article.

Togetherness Lovebirds - Swarovski SCS 1987 Annual Edition

Swarovski SCS Lovebirds - Togetherness, 1987 Annual Edition

The Swarovski Lovebirds were available for purchase only in 1987 for collectors who were members in the Swarovski SCS.  At that time, SCS was an acronym for Swarovski Collectors Society.  The Swarovski SCS was begun in 1987 only in the English-speaking countries: USA, Canada, Australia, Great Britain, and South Africa.  As a result, the distribution channel for the Togetherness Lovebirds was much more limited than it is today.

The Swarovski Togetherness Lovebirds stands just over 4” tall.  It is a figurine with 2 clear birds, somewhat looking at each other.  They have frosted beaks and are perched on a frosted branch.

Following the release of the Swarovski Lovebirds, two Swarovski designers were given credit for this beautiful design:  Adi Stocker and Max Schreck.  ‘Togetherness’ is the only figurine designed by 2 Swarovski artists.  For about 10 years, either designer was permitted to sign the crystal figurine (at designer signing events).  But in 1998, Swarovski decided to give full credit of the Togetherness design to Max Schreck and Adi Stocker was no longer permitted to sign it.

The SCS Lovebirds does contain what the crystal brand calls the ‘backstamp / bottomstamp’, which is included for the sake of authenticity.  Looking closely at the underside of the frosted base, the designer’s initials “MS” and the year “87” can be seen.

The Lovebirds were known using the Swarovski part number DO1X861, and years later the system number 013 560 was revealed, so it can be identified using either number.

The Swarovski Lovebirds is one of three crystal figurines in the Swarovski Caring and Sharing trilogy.

Other Swarovski Lovebird designs include the Swarovski Baby Lovebirds, which were produced 1996 – 2011.

A special thanks to Jane Warner, co-author to Warner’s Blue Ribbon Books on Swarovski for consulting on the Swarovski Lovebirds article.

The SCS Swarovski Lovebirds retailed for $150 USD in 1987.  The purchase price included the crystal figurine, a custom box for the figurine, and a Swarovski COA (certificate of authenticity).    While the resale price of the Swarovski Lovebirds spiked to over $4000 shortly after 2000, a mint condition figurine, complete with original packaging can generally be purchased on the secondary market for $2300 – $2700, from Swarovski expert dealers, like Crystal Exchange America.

Feb 092012
 

Swarovski has officially announced that the Birds on Broadway are becoming part of the Lovlots City community.

Swarovski Lovlots Jenna

2012 Swarovski Lovlots Jenna (Birds on Broadway collection)

The six new Swarovski Birds in the Lovlots Birds on Broadway collection include:

  • Swarovski Audrey  – This Lovlots Birds on Broadway figurine is a clear swan.  Lovlots Audrey  will retail for $180.
  • Swarovski Ginger  – This Lovlots Birds on Broadway figurine is a fuscia-colored crane.  Lovlots Ginger will retail for $100.
  • Swarovski Jim & Jess – These Lovlots Birds on Broadway are singing and dancing birds.  Jess is yellow and Jim is lavender.  Lovlots Jim and Jess will retail for $110.
  • Swarovski Fred – This Lovlots Birds on Broadway figurine is the Limited Edition figurine for the Birds on Broadway collection.  Lovlots Fred is a vulture and will retail for $80.  Lovlots Fred will only be available in 2012.
  • Swarovski Jenna  – This Lovlots Birds on Broadway figurine is a pink girly-girl baby bird.  Lovlots Jenna will retail for $50.
  • Swarovski Justin  – This Lovlots Birds on Broadway figurine is a light blue baby bird.  Lovlots Justin will retail for $50.

According to the article on the crystal brand’s site, the Swarovski Birds on Broadway will be available for purchase in their online shoppe on March 5, 2012.

Swarovski crystal fanatics can find a complete list of Swarovski Lovlots crystal figurines at Crystal Exchange America.  Collectors looking to purchase retired or discontinued Swarovski Lovlots figurines, can find them at Crystal Exchange America in the category “Lovlots and Zodiac”.

Sep 172011
 

Swarovski has produced some very striking and brilliantly-colored birds which are a part of the Silver Lake theme group.  These four Swarovski Birds range in height of 8 – 13 inches in height and are affixed to a silver-colored chrome stands.  All the colored birds in the Silver Lake collection are still current and can be purchased in the online Swarski shoppe.

Swarovski Silver Lake Birds

left to right: Kingfishers, Woodpeckers, Roller, Bee Eaters

Swarovski Kingfishers – 9600 000 116 / 945 090.  Anton Hirzinger designed these Swarovski birds.  They were introduced in 2008 and retail for $950.  These Kingfishers have golden bodies with turquoise head and wings.  Swarovski also produced the Malachite Kingfishers and Up in the Trees Kingfisher, which are in the Silver Crystal product line.

Swarovski Woodpeckers – 9600 000 124 / 957 562. Elisabeth Adamer created this design of the pair of woodpeckers.  They were introduced in 2009 and retailed for $1200.  They are primarily black in color with some red accents.  The other Swarovski Woodpeckers design was a crystal figurine for Swarovski SCS members in 1988.  The SCS Woodpeckers were clear birds attached to a frosted branch.

Swarovski Roller – 9600 000 125 / 957 568. Anton Hirzinger is the designer credited for this design.  Of all the Silver Lake birds, it is the online figurine that is not a pair of birds.  The Roller was introduced in 2009 and retailed for $950.  It has a blackish back, with blue and olive green wings.  The Swarovski Roller went on sale in May, 2011 and is now sold out in the online Swarovski shoppe.

Swarovski Bee Eaters – 9600 000 123 / 957 128. Heinz Tabertshofer is the artist of the Swarovski Bee Eaters.  These birds were introduced in 2008 and retail for $1500.  The Bee Eaters are light blue and royal blue in color accented by light green wings.  Swarovski includes smaller Bee Eaters in the Silver Crystal product line.

One unfortunate noteworthy characteristic about the Swarovski Crystal Silver Lake Birds is the fact that there is an unusually high report in the number of birds that have become detached from the silver-colored stands.  We hear that the company has been generous at reattaching all separated parts, but it does remain to be seen just how the situation may be handled once these crystal birds become retired crystal figurines.

Well these birds are quite expensive, and quite large, just like the Swarovski Crystal Paradise Birds.  Some display cases are not even capable of displaying them due to the height of the crystal figurines, so collectors may shy away from them.

If you are crystal fanatics or bird fanatics and have an incomplete collection of these Silver Lake birds, but wish to have a full set, you may wish to finalize your collection soon before the rest of them retire.  At the Crystal Exchange America web site: www.CrystalExchange.com , all these Swarovski birds can be found in the ‘Birds’ category of the store.

Sep 082011
 

The Swarovski crystal company produced some very exotic and colorful birds which are a part of the Crystal Paradise theme group.  These four Swarovski Birds range in height of 7.5 – 11.5 inches in height and are affixed to a natural-colored wooden pedestal.  All the birds in the Crystal Paradise group all retailed for $950 when brand new at the Swarovski stores.

Swarovski Crystal Paradise Birds

left to right, Toucan, Green Rosella, Cockatoo & Macaw

Swarovski Toucan  – 9600 000 042 / 850 600.  This Swarovski bird was produced 2006 through 2009.  The Swarovski artist of this figurine was Roland Schuster.  Many collectors refer to it as the Black Diamond Toucan since the crystal brand also made two other Swarovski toucan figurines: the Up in the Trees toucan 1989 – 1992 and a toucan with a colored beak 1999 – 2009.  The Black Diamond Toucan is primarily a translucent black color, highlighted with a red tip on the end of its long beak

Swarovski Green Rosella – 9600 000 085 / 901 601.  This Swarovski bird was produced 2007 through 2010.  Heinz Tabertshofer was the Swarovski designer of this figurine, the only Crystal Paradise bird by him.  The Green Rosella is mostly yellow, with blue tips on the tail and wings.

Swarovski Cockatoo  – 9600 000 020 / 718 565. This Swarovski bird was produced 2001 through 2004.  The Swarovski designer was Roland Schuster.  It is a pretty pink cockatoo with a red, yellow, and white plume.  The crystal brand also made a much smaller clear Swarovski cockatoo 2001 – 2006.

Swarovski Macaw – 9600 000 011 / 685 824.  This Swarovski bird was launched in 2005 and while it is listed as a 2011 retirement, it is no longer available for purchase in the Swarovski shoppe online.  Roland Schuster was the Swarovski artist credited with this design.  The macaw is a beautiful bluish green with other colored accents.

Our favorite crystal brand also produced the Swarovski Thimbles which were frosted birds perched on clear thimble-type bases.  The birds on the thimbles include: Eagle, Cockatoo, Owl, Parrot, and Toucan.

So why write about the Swarovski Crystal Paradise Birds now?  Well these birds are quite expensive, and quite large.  Some display cases are not even capable of displaying them due to the height of the crystal figurines, so collectors may shy away from them.  However, in the past 2 months, we have seen a jump in sales of them….especially in the Swarovski Black Diamond Toucan.  Swarovski crystal collectors are reporting that the toucan is particularly hard to find.

If you are bird fanatics or crystal fanatics and have only a partial set of these big birds, but wish to have an entire set, you may wish to complete your collection soon before the rest of them become hard to find.  At the Crystal Exchange America web site: www.CrystalExchange.com , all these Swarovski birds can be found in the ‘Birds’ category of the store.

Aug 252011
 

Some less commonly seen Swarovski crystal figurines are the frosted birds perched on top of clear thimbles.  These figurines are better known as Swarovski Thimbles.

The Swarovski Thimble figurines were available with 5 different birds on 2 different thimble bases.  The 5 different Swarovski birds are:

Swarovski Crystal Thimbles

Swarovski Thimbles

  1. Swarovski Owl on Thimble
  2. Swarovski Parrot on Thimble
  3. Swarovski Eagle on Thimble
  4. Swarovski Cockatoo on Thimble
  5. Swarovski Toucan on Thimble

The thimble bases are clear, but have different shapes, and are known under various names.  One base is often referred to as the pinecone base or barrel base.  It is difficult to describe, other than saying that is resembles a pinecone….smaller at the bottom and top, wider near the middle.  The other base has a straight-line design, larger at the bottom and smaller at the top.  This straighter design has also been called the panel-base.  In the Swarovski thimbles photo, the Parrot and Toucan are shown on the pinecone/barrel base.  The Owl, Eagle and Cockatoo are shown on the panel/straight base.

The Swarovski Thimbles were produced under the “Crystal Colors” name in the European market.  The crystal thimbles were about 2.25” tall.  While I am uncertain as to the approximate retail price while they were available in the 1990’s, they are estimated to be valued at $100 – $200 each on the secondary market.  It is difficult to find the bird thimbles these days, but they are oftentimes sold as a set of 5 birds (with the same base) or a set of all 10.

I generally confirm details for my articles using the well-respected Warner’s Blue Ribbon Books on Swarovski.   While I was closing the Swarovski book, the pages flipped to the Zales Cockatoo on Stand figurine.  I turned back to the thimbles pages.  Back and forth to the Zales pages.    Know what?  I believe that the same frosted birds are used on the Zales figurines, which were produced in the 1980’s in USA for the Zales Jewelers stores!  I have never heard this theory anywhere else and I don’t have any of the figurines for a visual comparison, so this may very well be a new discovery!

Swarovski Crystal Zales

Swarovski Zales Birds

Good luck finding the Swarovski birds crystal thimbles….finding them is becoming a real challenge!  If I should obtain confirmation as to the question of the Swarovski bird components being used for both the thimbles and Zales figurines, an updated post will certainly be in order!

Jul 072011
 

Yesterday, I got an email from the Swarovski about a current sale, for 30% – 50% off select items.  Among the crystal figurines on sale was an expensive item in the Paradise line…the Swarovski Blue Turquoise Roller Bird.

Swarovski Blue Turquoise Roller Bird

Swarovski Blue Turquoise Roller Bird

The Swarovski Blue Roller is a large crystal bird figurine, about 10″ wide.  The Swarovski Roller (9600 000 125 / 957 568) was designed by Anton Hirzinger.  The bird is blue turquoise and black diamond in color.  The bird is attached to a metal stand.  The Swarovski Roller is in the Silver Lake collection of the Paradise line.  Originally introduced in 2011, it had a retail price of $950.  The sale price now is $570!

The Swarovski Blue Roller is similar (in my opinion) to seven other large bird figurines in the Swarovski Paradise line.  All these Swarovski birds are nearly 8″ tall and are very colorful:

Now is a great time to purchase the Swarovski Roller if that is a crystal figurine you were planning to add to your collection.  As the Kingfishers, Bee-Eaters, and Woodpeckers are still current, they can be purchased directly from the Swarovski store.  The other retired figurines can be found at www.CrystalExchange.com in the Swarovski Birds category of the online store. Tweet tweet for now!