A recent exhibition at the V&A titled, Fabergé in London: Romance to Revolution, showcased the largest display of the legendary Imperial Easter Eggs in a generation, several of which had never before been shown in the UK.
Original Fabergé eggs are considered one of the last great commissions of objets d’art and a unique symbol of opulence. The most expensive Fabergé egg in existence is believed to be The Third Imperial Easter Egg, estimated to be worth approximately $33 million. Produced by workmaster August Holmström in 1887, it was a gift from the Russian Tsar Alexander III to his wife Maria Feodorovna. Created in the Louis XVI style, the 82mm tall egg features an 18K gold case decorated with sapphires and diamonds and contains an intricately designed clock.
Kerimov is not considered an art collector, and experts on the subject of Fabergé eggs are speculative about the probability of this recent discovery. ‘The likelihood that it’s real is pretty small, I think,’ Tony Faber, author of Fabergé’s Eggs: The Extraordinary Story of the Masterpieces That Outlived an Empire, told CNN, ‘the seven missing ones, have been basically missing since the revolution’. Fabergé dealer Andre Ruzhnikov is also less than hopeful about the find, telling The Art Newspaper, ‘There is not a single Fabergé egg that can be bought on the market today. There haven’t been Imperial Fabergé eggs on the market for 18 years, since the sale of the [Malcolm Forbes Fabergé] collection to [Viktor] Vekselberg in 2004.‘