Don’t miss the chance to see this rarely viewed treasure in the run up to Easter
A lucky American scrap gold dealer discovered that an ornament he picked up at a sale was in fact one of eight missing Fabergé eggs.
The unnamed dealer bought the egg for its gold value, paying $14,000 (£8,400) in the hope that he could sell it on and make a $500 (£300) profit. Fortunately no buyer was interested and the egg was saved from being melted down.
Last week jewellery specialists Wartski revealed that the egg was in fact one of the eggs made by jeweller Carl Fabergé for the Tsars of Russia. Fabergé made only 50 of these famous Easter eggs for the Russian royals of which eight were missing. Five of these eight are believed to have been destroyed in the Bolshevik Revolution.
This egg, which is just 8.2cm high and contains a Vacheron Constantin watch, was given by Emperor Alexander III to his wife Maria Feodorovna at Easter in 1887. It was last seen in public 112 years ago.
Wartski bought the egg from the American dealer on behalf of a private collector for an undisclosed sum. Kieran McCarthy, director of Wartski, described the egg as a ‘Holy Grail’ for collectors and said that when he saw it, it sent shivers down his spine. The last Fabergé egg that came up for auction was sold for $18.5 million.
The egg will be going on display for just four days in the run up to Easter before being taken into the private collection.
Though it’s never the same as seeing the egg in all its real life intricate glory, take a look at our close up gallery of images below.
We’ll be putting the exhibition dates in our diary too of course. It’s a rare opportunity not to be missed...
See the 1887 Faberge egg from 14th to 17th April at Wartski, 14 Grafton Street, London, W1S 4DE. 9.30am - 5pm, free entry. 0207 493 1141; wartski.com
The reeded yellow gold egg is opened by pressing the cut diamond.
It opens to reveal a watch by prestigious Swiss clockmakers, Vacheron Constantin. The company, founded in 1755, has made watches that have graced the wrists of the likes of Napoleon Bonaparte, Harry Truman and the Duke of Windsor.
The egg is set on a sabled gold stand with lion paw feet and decorated with coloured gold garlands. The stones set into it are cabochon blue sapphires which are topped with rose diamond-set bows.
The watch face is hinged to allow it to stand upright or lie flat. The hands are gold and set with diamonds.