TribLIVE

| USWorld


 
Larger text Larger text Smaller text Smaller text | Order Photo Reprints

Flea market find in U.S.: 127-year-old Faberge egg

Daily Photo Galleries

By The Associated Press
Wednesday, March 19, 2014, 6:12 p.m.
 

LONDON — There is good luck, outrageous good fortune — and now there is the case of the scrap metal dealer who found one of the eight missing Faberge imperial eggs at a flea market in the midwestern United States.

A London antique dealer said on Wednesday that the scrap metal entrepreneur bought the egg for about $14,000, thinking he could make a small profit by reselling the piece for its gold content.

It turned out the jewel-encrusted piece was worth millions.

Kieran McCarthy of Wartski, which specializes in Russian artifacts, said the dealer began to suspect he was holding a rare piece after seeing an article online about an imperial Faberge Easter egg made for Russian royalty. The dealer contacted McCarthy, who verified the egg as genuine and negotiated its sale to a collector.

“The second I saw it, my spine was shivering,” said McCarthy, calling the piece a “Holy Grail” for collectors.

Both buyer and seller want to remain anonymous, and McCarthy did not disclose the sale price — but experts note that a non-imperial Faberge egg sold at Christie's for $18.5 million in 2007.

Independent Faberge expert Geza von Habsburg said the egg is “absolutely genuine” and matches the one-line description found in records kept by Russia's Imperial Cabinet.

Only 50 of the imperial eggs were made for the royal family, and eight remained missing before the latest find, though only three of those are known to have survived the Russian revolution.

“I think it's pretty exciting,” said Tatiana Zherebkina, spokeswoman for Faberge. “The experts seem to agree it's authentic and of imperial provenance — one of the eight missing eggs.”

It will be on display at Wartski's London showroom April 14-17, the first time it will have been seen in public for 112 years.

 

 
 


Show commenting policy

Most-Read World

  1. Kerry urges Israel, Hamas to use 72-hour ceasefire to find common ground
  2. Gaza war rages despite Hamas, Israel truce pledges
  3. Gas explosions kill 20, injure 270 in Taiwan
  4. Thousands of Libyans flee as Islamic militants seize Benghazi, fighting rages in capital
  5. Argentina slips into financial quagmire
  6. Abbas wants factions’ accord to lodge war-crimes claim against Israel
  7. Ebola viral disease prompts U.S. travel warning to West Africa
Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.