What's It Worth? The Eggciting history of Faberge Eggs

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What's It Worth? The Egg-Citing History Of Fabergé Eggs

Peter Carl Fabergé, a Russian artisan of Frencch Huguenot ancestry, made about 50 gold and jeweled eggs when he was the royal jeweler to Russian aristocracy from 1885 forward. Only 45 of them have been accounted for. The legacy of these eggs is far-reaching, and a simple internet search will unearth hundreds of stories about them.

The most recent was a midwestern metal dealer who bought one for scrap. And having (as the legend notes) overestimated its gold value, he did not scrap it, as he’d paid too much (around $12,000). Through an internet search, he contacted a European expert on Fabergé eggs, who confirmed a value of millions of dollars.

Malcom Forbes famously owned some, as does the Queen of England. My longtime acquaintance, Géza von Habsburg, formerly of Habsburg-Feldman Auction House and an executive at Christie’s, notes that any Fabergé egg that would come to market now would fetch over $30 million.

You, too, can own one. Not the large ones discussed here, but a smaller one made for necklaces. These are available for $2,000 to $10,000.

Also available are the now highly collected contemporary Fabergé eggs. Fabergé has had two relaunches – one in the 1940s and one in 2007. They still make egg pendants in the $5,000 to $10,000 range.

And Theo Fabergé, Carl’s grandson, made thousands of full-sized eggs in the 1980s until 2007. Once ridiculed by dealers, their worth has grown into a valuation of $200 to $500, with very limited editions fetching $1,000 to $10,000.

The large Theo Fabergé egg, top, had an auction estimate of $2,000 to $2,500. Made of 18K gold and silver, the small diamond pendant egg, center, has an auction estimate of $800 to $1,200.

We buy them all (as well as all Russian antiques and paintings), but our favorite egg story involves my son Kendon (pictured with me coloring Easter eggs), whose artistry far outweighs that of Carl or Theo. In my book, anyway.
Happy Easter!
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