The ultimate Easter egg: Fabergé Egg in London

An extraordinary Easter egg, made by Fabergé but unidentified by its owner for years, is on display this month in London.

Bought unknowingly on a bric-a-brac stall in the US for $14,000 a decade ago, one of the missing Imperial Faberge Easter eggs, designed by Carl Fabergé for Tsar Alexander III, and seized by the Bolsheviks during the Russian Revolution, was almost melted down by its new owner, but in fact he kept it at his home.

After eventually researching the egg online, the buyer discovered the potential importance of his acquisition and located London-based expert on the work of Carl Fabergé Kieran McCarthy, director of Wartski. After confirming the provenance of the piece, Wartski also found a buyer, who chooses to remain anonymous, but who has allowed the piece to be displayed at Wartski for four days in April.

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Could you have a Fabergé egg at home?

Of the 50 eggs Fabergé made for the Imperial family from 1885 through to 1916, 42 have survived. Two of the eight missing eggs are still thought to be in existence.

The 1889 Necessaire Egg – which is still to be found – is made of heavily chased gold, set with pearls and gemstones. It comes without a stand, and contains 13 miniature toilet articles. It was last recorded at Wartski in June 1952 and this black and white picture was taken shortly before it disappeared. Can it be found from this photograph? Now that’s an Easter egg hunt with an incentive.

See the ultimate Easter treasure

(020-7493 1141; Open to the public from Monday, 14th to Thursday, 17th April from 11am to 5pm. Entrance is free, but queues are expected.

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