Saturday, April 7, 2012

Egg Decorating: Faberge 1913 Winter Egg

The last sale on this egg was $9.6 million.
From Pearly's Qunol:

Dimensions: height of egg 10.2 cm (4 inches) overall height 14.2 cm (5.6 inches).

The hinged, detachable egg is made of rock crystal finely engraved with pattern that represents ice crystals. The egg opens vertically and the hinge is set with a cabochon moonstone painted on the reverse with the date 1913. It stands on a block of rock crystal carved to represent melting ice and studded with platinum-mounted rivulets made of rose-cut diamonds.

The miniature platinum and gold surprise basket is studded with 1,378 diamonds. It contains wood anemones that are realistically carved from a single piece of white quartz, with gold wire stems and stamens. The centre of the flowers are set with garnets and the leaves are delicately carved from nephrite. The flowers lie in gold moss.

Czar Nikolai II gave this egg as an Easter gift to his mother, Dowager Empress Maria Fyodorovna.

The Winter Egg was the most expensive egg - it cost just under 25,000 rubles, or about $12,500 (in 1913).

In 1927 this egg was sold by Antikvariat to Emanuel snowman of Wartski Jewelers, London. 1934 Warski sold it to lord Alington, London. In 1948 it was owned by the late Sir Bernard Eckstein and in 1949 it was sold by Sotheby’s London to Bryan Ledbrook, UK. Around 1975 the egg disaperead and was relocated in a London safe in 1994. In November 1994 the egg was sold by Christie's Geneva on behalf of a trust to a telephone bidder, acting for a US buyer. In 2002 Christie's New York sold it to the Emir of Qatar.