Rotten Egg: A Faberge fiasco at Christie's

A Faberge fiasco at Christie's

Russia's last imperial family, the Romanovs, celebrated Easter with decorative eggs, the traditional symbol of Christ's Resurrection. They were not, however, the kind of gift a child might paint and put in a basket. Beginning in 1885, the Czars commissioned Russian Jeweler Carl Faberge to create a series of egg-shaped treasures. No two were alike, but most were covered with jewels and gold and could be opened to reveal a dazzling surprise, perhaps a miniature palace or a windup train. Before the dynasty was overthrown in 1917, Faberge produced between 54 and 57 of these Imperial eggs.

One of Faberge's rare...

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