100-Year-Old Fabergé Egg Found Among Gold Scrap
A few years ago a man bought what he thought was just a solid gold egg at a flea market in the Midwest for $14,000. He bought and sold scrap gold for a living so he knew he could always sell it for its weight in gold. But he had no takers, so it sat in his modest house overlooking a Dunkin’ Donuts. And sat. Little did he know that it was one of the missing, original Fabergé eggs worth over $30,000,000!
The long lost egg is known as the “Third Imperial Egg.” Created in 1887, this unique egg hadn’t been seen by the public since 1902. The egg opens up to reveal a clock inside. Standing on gold lion’s legs, and surrounded by diamonds and sapphires, this beautiful piece is a sight to behold. Made of solid gold, the egg stands just over three inches tall. When the Bolsheviks took over during the Russian Revolution in 1917, the egg, along with seven other Fabergé eggs, was lost. No one knows how it came to the United States.
Production of Faberge´ eggs began in 1885 when Tsar Alexander III chose to have a decorative, jeweled Easter egg created for his wife, the Empress Maria Feodorovna. Legend has it the egg was a present both for Easter and for the couple’s twentieth anniversary. After Maria’s delight at the original 1885, Jeweled Hen Egg, Alexander enlisted Peter Carl Fabergé, the official imperial goldsmith, to produce an egg for the following Easter.
Revealing the new Fabergé eggs became an annual Easter tradition for the Russian royal family. As years passed, the designs became more elaborate. Alexander gave Fabergé free rein to be as creative with his designs as he wished. The only design criteria was that each egg contain a surprise. This tradition gave way to modern Easter egg hunts, and the coveted “golden egg.”
The Third Imperial Egg was nearly sold as scrap. But after years of gold buyers refusing to give him the price he wanted, the unnamed man Googled a phrase inscribed on the egg, “Vacheron Constantin.” It led him to this Telegraph article,“Is this £20 million nest-egg on your mantelpiece?” Of course he contacted the antiques dealer, Kieran McCarthy of Wartski, in the article, and he verified the egg as the long lost Third Imperial Faberge´ egg.
The egg was promptly sold to a private collector and is now on display at Wartski for the rest of the month. This will be the first time the public has been allowed to view the egg for 112 years.
It just goes to prove you never know how valuable an item is until you have an expert evaluate it. At West Seattle Coin, we would love to take a look at any and all of your gold or silver antiques.
West Seattle Coins specializes in gold buying and dealing in rare coins. We are a family-owned business that was established in 1979 in the West Seattle Junction. We also buy and sell gold, silver, diamonds, currency and jewelry. Visit us first for a free evaluation.