Flea market find in U.S.: 127-year-old Faberge egg
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
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Beijing expected to restrict Hong Kong candidates
- With eyes on China, Japan seeks record defense budget
- Zimbabwe’s first lady enters politics amidst controversy
- As German fears grow, Merkel ‘holds line’
- U.S. points to Egypt, UAE in airstrikes on Libya
- Coast Guard fires in defense on Iran boat
- 5 authors of Ebola study died of virus during research
- Ebola-infected student gives problem to Senegal
- Mexico operations thwart child, family migrants
- Yemenis protest against Shiites
- Putin calls for exit corridor for Ukrainian troops trapped in southeast