The mini zoo
The first 6 mini size animals produced by Swarovski were all designed by Max Schreck. The mini chick, duck, mouse, owl, rabbit and sparrow were available individually but also for a short period during 1981 to 1982 they were also produced as a set and housed in one box. This set was called the “Mini Zoo”
Debate often rages between collectors about how important it is to have the original box and the original label when buying retired pieces. Some collectors insist on it, others say they don’t care as they are just want the crystal. But as with most things in life, there is always the exception to the rule!
The mini zoo box is important but it is actually the presence of the original label which is imperative for authentication purposes! Yes, for this set you must insist on having the label, let alone the box. This is because several boxes which are the same shape and size as the mini zoo also have identical foam inserts, so if you want a genuine mini zoo, you must make sure the label is present. If the label isn’t present, it is possible that the box may not have originally contained a mini zoo and could have started life, for example, as a party set (pictured) or a set of 6 x 131 candleholders as those boxes have identical foam inserts.
The logo on the mini owl must be checked as well, as it was available with both the old blocked SC logo and the swan logo, so again, for an authentic mini zoo set the owl must have the old blocked SC logo on it, and not the newer swan logo which was introduced in 1988.