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. Delta Sigma Theta honors outgoing national president

    Human Interest

    During her four years as national president of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., Paulette Walker said she always focused on the comma between "Sorority" and "Inc."

    Paulette Walker, the former director of undergraduate programs and internship in the College of Education at the University of South Florida, will be honored on Saturday for her leadership in the Delta Sigma Theta sorority.
  2. 10 sailors missing, 5 hurt in collision of USS John S. McCain

    SEOUL —Ten U.S. Navy sailors are missing and five have been injured after the USS John S. McCain destroyer collided with an oil tanker near Singapore early Monday morning.

    In this Jan. 22, 2017, photo provided by U.S. Navy, the USS John S. McCain patrols in the South China Sea while supporting security efforts in the region. The guided-missile destroyer collided with a merchant ship on Monday, Aug. 21, in waters east of Singapore and the Straits of Malacca. Ten sailors were missing, and five were injured, the Navy said. [James Vazquez/U.S. Navy via AP]
  3. Pasco County Fire Rescue fighting a two-alarm fire started by an explosion

    Fire

    Two houses are on fire and one victim has been critically burned and taken to a trauma center following an explosion at a home at 8652 Velvet Dr, in Port Richey.

  4. Rays see the Blake Snell they've been waiting for in win over Mariners

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — It was a one-run game Sunday when the Mariners' Robinson Cano singled with one out in the seventh inning, bringing the dangerous Nelson Cruz to the plate.

    Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher Blake Snell (4) throwing in the third inning of the game between the Seattle Mariners and the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Sunday, Aug. 20, 2017.
  5. Bucs counting on better health creating better pass rush

    Bucs

    TAMPA — Ask Bucs coaches about the improved depth and health of their defensive line, and they'll look around for a piece of wood to knock on.

    Retired All-Pro defensive end  Simeon Rice, right, the last Buc to have double-digit sacks in a season,  works with defensive end Ryan Russell, who last season was promoted from the practice squad for the second half of the year as injuries piled up. He is competing for a backup job this year.