Long-lost Faberge egg to go on show
Published 07/04/2014 | 15:37
A £20 million long-lost Faberge egg that was bought at a bric-a-brac market for scrap metal will go on display for the first time.
An unnamed buyer paid just £8,000 in the US for the egg, which contains a Vacheron Constantin watch, and intended to sell it for scrap metal value.
It later transpired that he was in possession of a Third Imperial Faberge egg - worth millions.
Wartski, the antique dealers specialising in the works of Carl Faberge, have bought the egg for a private collector and will exhibit it this month.
Silke Lohmann, from Wartski, said: "It hasn't been seen since 1902, and it might not be seen for another 100 years because it was bought by a private collector.
"There has been an enormous response and there is a great number of people who want to see it. People are flying in from America and South Africa to see the egg displayed."
A special display has been designed, resembling the egg's last exhibition in St Petersburg in 1902. To give the display some context, it will also feature pictures from then.
Only 20-25 people will be allowed to enter the exhibition at a time, both for security reasons and so people will actually be able to see the 8.2cm tall egg.
The egg was given to Empress Maria Feodorovna by Alexander III for Easter in 1887. During the revolution, it was seized by the Bolsheviks, and sold in 1922. Its existence was last recorded in 1964, when it was sold in New York for only £875, until the American buyer contacted Kieran McCarthy, director of Wartski.
It will go on display at Wartski in London from April 14 to 17 between 11am and 5pm.