Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Scrap dealer's bargain turns out to be Faberge egg

This Faberge egg was given by Alexander III to his wife Empress Maria Feodorovna on Easter 1887. 

AP

This Faberge egg was given by Alexander III to his wife Empress Maria Feodorovna on Easter 1887. 

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 an American flea market.

A London antique dealer said Wednesday the Midwest 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. 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. "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 a non-imperial Faberge egg sold at Christie's for $18.5 million in 2007.

Independent Faberge expert Geza von Habsburg said the egg, which contains a Vacheron Constantin watch, 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.

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.

Scrap dealer's bargain turns out to be Faberge egg 03/19/14 [Last modified: Wednesday, March 19, 2014 7:45pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. LaVar Ball appears at WWE event, son LaMelo uses slur

    Blogs

    LOS ANGELES  -- LaVar Ball has brought his Big Baller Brand from the basketball court to the wrestling ring. 
    The outspoken father of NBA Draft No. 2 pick Lonzo Ball showed up with the newly-minted Los Angeles Laker and another son, 15-year-old son LaMelo, for a live segment on Monday's "WWE …

    LaVar Ball took off his shirt during a WWE broadcast.
  2. Facing defections, Senate GOP leaders delay health care vote

    National

    WASHINGTON — In a bruising setback, Senate Republican leaders are delaying a vote on their prized health care bill until after the July 4 recess, forced to retreat by a GOP rebellion that left them lacking enough votes to even begin debating the legislation, two sources said Tuesday.

    Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Ky., center, talks with his chief of staff Sharon Soderstrom, right, and communications staff director Antonia Ferrier, left, as they walk to his office on Capitol Hill in Washington, Monday, June 26, 2017. Senate Republicans unveil a revised health care bill in hopes of securing support from wavering GOP lawmakers, including one who calls the drive to whip his party's bill through the Senate this week "a little offensive." [Associated Press]
  3. U.S. Rep. Charlie Crist and estranged wife Carole put Beach Drive condo on the market

    Real Estate

    ST. PETERSBURG — U.S. Rep. Charlie Crist and his estranged wife, Carole, have put their Beach Drive condo on the market for $1.5 million.

    Former Florida Gov. and current U.S. Rep. Charlie Crist and his estranged wife, Carole, have put their condo in downtown St. Petersburg on the market for $1.5 million. [Courtesy of Rhonda Sanderford]
  4. Florida man sits in jail 90 days when drywall powder is mistaken for cocaine (w/video)

    Crime

    OVIEDO — A Florida man spent 90 days in jail after police officers who stopped him for driving without headlights said white powder found in his car was cocaine.

    Karlos Cashe spent 90 days in jail after Oviedo police officers who stopped him for driving without headlights said white powder found in his car was cocaine. But he walked out of jail last week after lab results determined the powder in the handyman's car was actually drywall. [Photo from video] 

  5. Cal Foote was picked 14th overall by the Lightning in the NHL Draft.