The Austrian crystal company Swarovski is founded in 1895 by Daniel Swarovski. His father owns a small glass factory and Daniel develops an electric cutting machine with which he can cut glass jewelry. His idea is to process glass in such a way that it resembles a diamond and will be affordable for everyone. In later years, Swarovski also uses the polishing machines to make binoculars and telescopes, especially the Second World War opens up a large market for Swarovski, they go from 500 to 1200 employees in those years. After the war it is reported that Swarovski had very strong links with the Nazi regime. Swarvoski himself indicates that they used their political connections to help the company survive during the war. Swarovski continues to make luxury crystal products, they also make glass sculptures, vases and other decorative products like chandeliers. The Swarovski crystals are also used to decorate all kinds of products. Swarovski often works with designers to design the jewelry and other luxury products, for example Viktor & Rolf
, Jean Paul Gaultier
, Zaha Hadid
and Karl Lagerfeld
. At art and design auctions you regularly come across something made by Swarovski or by a designer or other company that uses the crystals. At auction you can find a beautiful sculpture of an animal, a necklace or ring, Swarovski studded clothing or a beautiful decorative vase.