While you don’t have to deal in metals to know that if something glitters, it just might be gold, a scrap metal dealer with an eye for valuable stuff picked up something at a flea market that turned out to be worth even more than he could’ve hoped for. That’s because it was one of eight missing Russian Imperial Faberge eggs.
The lucky man is staying anonymous about his good fortune, reports the Associated Press, but a London antiques dealer says the guy bought the egg for $14,000 at a market in the Midwest. He figured he could at least use the gold in the thing to make some money.
But the jewel-encrusted lump of metals is much more than just an item to be melted down — experts in Russian artifacts at London firm Wartski say the egg is a genuine imperial Faberge Easter egg, made only for Russian royalty.
The egg was given by Alexander III to his wife Empress Maria Feodorovna at Easter in 1887, and was only one of 50 made for the royal family. It sits on a jeweled stand and contains a Vacheron Constantin watch, and is one of eight that had been missing before this find, and only three are known to have survived the Russian Revolution.
“The second I saw it, my spine was shivering,” said a rep from Wartski, adding that this kind of thing is a “Holy Grail” for collectors.
The sale price of the egg hasn’t been revealed, but a non-Imperial Faberge egg sold for $18.5 million in 2007. That is definitely not scrap metal.
You can follow MBQ on Twitter where she may wonder why all the flea markets and garage sales she attends never produce Russian Imperial Faberge Easter eggs: @marybethquirk
Scrap metal dealer’s flea-market find turns out to be missing Faberge egg [Associated Press]