My goal is to publish new posts twice a week — Mondays and Thursdays. However, if you don’t see a new post on Thursday, it’s because I was too busy, so please look for a new one the following Monday.
A Midwest scrap-metal dealer bought a golden egg with a clock inside for approximately $13,000, hoping to flip it quickly for a $500 profit. As luck would have it, he overestimated its melt value and wasn’t able to sell it quickly, giving him time to do a little Internet detective work. He typed “egg” and “Vacheron Constantin”, the name engraved on the clock, into Google and hit the jackpot. The information in a 2011 article in Britain’s Daily Telegraph newspaper indicated that the egg might be a lost Fabergé Imperial Egg.
The dealer hopped on a plane to London to meet with Kieran McCarthy, the author of the article in the Daily Telegraph. McCarthy is the Director of Wartski, a firm specializing in Russian works of art, especially Carl Fabergé. The dealer had no appointment, but just casually walked into the shop, wearing jeans, with a portfolio of photos. McCarthy was so excited by the photos, he flew to the US to authenticate the egg. He determined it to be the Third Imperial Egg, made in 1887, for Tsar Alexander III, as an Easter gift to his wife, Tsarina Maria Feodorovna. It had made its way to the West when the post-Russian Revolution Soviets sold their treasures in a policy known as turning “treasures into tractors”.
With the Midwest dealer’s blessing, Wartski then sold the egg to a private collector, for an undisclosed amount, possibly up to $33 million. It was displayed to the public at Wartski from April 14 to 17, for only the second time in its history. The first was at a 1964 auction. Now it’s back to privacy for the egg. Who knows the next time it will be available for view by the public? In the meantime, the Midwest dealer is basking in the sunshine of his good fortune.
It’s spring, so there are no shows, but we’re still very much in business. Click here to view my new website and look around. We always strive to offer the finest objects for sale on our website and at every show. There are many items for sale, sold items with prices and free lessons about glass and lamps.