The Lost Imperial Faberge Egg and Wartski
From the Archive, the story of the Lost Imperial Faberge Egg
Do Something Incredible this Easter – See the Lost Imperial Faberge Egg at Wartski
Drop everything between the 14-17th of April and skip over to Wartski in Mayfair – to see a bijou masterpiece by one of the greatest craftsman to walk the earth – Carl Faberge, goldsmith to the Tsars, and the man who makes princes and oligarchs sigh with restrained admiration. Then, gaze in the most intimate surroundings at one of the most exquisite objet every made – a fabled Imperial, be-jewelled golden Easter Egg – given by Alexander iii, Emperor of all Russia to his wife, the Empress Maria Feodorovna – the living embodiment of a mortal goddess at Easter time 1887.
Only 50 of the eggs were created by Faberge – and each one is utterly unique in personality, execution and detail. I can tell you this egg is so cute, you almost want to bite into the shimmering golden shell. (Of course, there is no chance!). The egg is a miracle of craftsmanship, imagination and the art of an artisan genius. It is tiny too, measuring just 8.2 centimetres. It sits on a jewelled, lions paw golden stand, and has the prettiest, most life-like garland, wrought in the most feminine rose gold.
At the height of the Russian Revolution, The Bolsheviks seized the Imperial eggs and they were sold off to western buyers as part of policy known as ‘treasures for tractors’. Until last year, it was thought that this beautiful egg, which hadn’t been seen for 112 years, had been melted down for its gold and jewels and lost to the world forever. Then, as in the best of fairytales, it was re-discovered in the most extraordinary circumstances in an unprepossessing house in mid western America, far from its once gilded home in Imperial St Petersburg.
The Faberge Egg Turns Up in a Local Flea Market in America
A scrap metal dealer purchased the egg in a local flea market for a hefty 14,000 dollars in the hope of turning a swift profit for its sumptuous gold content alone. It was only when the dealer couldn’t get his price, that he desperately examined the name of the watch nestling inside the egg, and typed the maker, Vacheron Constantin, into Google. Up came an article in the Telegraph about the world-wide search for the lost egg by Kieran McCarthy, a director and expert on Faberge at Wartski in London, and the dazzling story of the Lost Imperial Egg sprang to life. Unable to sleep, the dealer got on a plane to London, walked into Wartski and asked to see an astonished Kieran.
A few days later, Kieran flew out to America, and after travelling along the dust bowl roads of the mid west, he found himself looking at a tiny, priceless, lost masterpiece with a history that has it all – royalty, glamour, sublime luxury, and tragedy.
The egg was painstakinlgy authenticated and Wartski acquired this most romantic of masterpieces for a private collector and the scrap metal dealer hit the jackpot – gaining millions of dollars for every sublime centimetre of Imperial golden egg – now he can buy all the Easter eggs his heart desires!
See the Imperial Easter Egg at Wartski, 14th – 17th April, 14, Grafton St, London, W1S 4DE. www.wartski.com Tel 0207 493 1141 Opening times – 11am – 5pm.
Entrance is free, queues are expected.