Lost Fabergé Easter egg on show for first time in 112 years

Mon Apr 7, 2014 11:47am EDT
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By Brenda Goh

LONDON (Reuters) - A Fabergé Imperial Easter Egg made for Emperor Alexander III of Russia and not seen in public for more than a century will go on show in London after being saved from the melting pot by an American scrap dealer who only accidentally realized its value.

The Lost Third Imperial Easter Egg was made by Peter Carl Fabergé as a gift for Empress Maria Feodorovna for Easter 1887.

The 8.2 cm (3.2 inches) tall egg, made from gold and studded with diamonds and sapphires, was last displayed in St Petersburg in 1902.

It was seized by the Bolsheviks during the 1917 Russian Revolution and mysteriously made its way to the United States.

By chance, an unidentified man bought it at a market in the U.S. Midwest for $14,000, intending to sell it for scrap. Unable to find a buyer, he searched the Internet and realized that he may have found Empress Maria Feodorovna's lost Easter egg.

London antiques dealer Wartski, which specializes in the work of Fabergé, bought the egg for an unidentified private collector who has permitted it to go on show in its small showroom near London's luxury shopping strip Bond Street.

"For the art historical community and for the Fabergé world, I think we had to say that it was found. It's like finding a missing Rembrandt and you didn't tell anybody," Kieran McCarthy, director of Wartski, told Reuters.

"It may disappear again and may not be seen for, who knows - I would not be surprised if it didn't come out for another 112 years," he said.   Continued...

An assistant poses for a photograph with a Faberge egg during a photo-call at antique dealer Wartski, in central London April 7, 2014. REUTERS/Olivia Harris