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The most valuable Faberge Eggs

Posted by mandyf on October 20, 2011

Karl Gustavovich Faberge (US Public domain)

Determining the most valuable Faberge Eggs takes a little bit of guesswork given some have sold without the winning bid being made public, or through private non-disclosed sales. On one hand the record price paid for the Coronation egg is pretty well known given the massive publicity it generated. On the other the remainder of the eggs are only talked about in somewhat vague terms of a price range rather than a set figure. To further complicate things the estimated or insured value for many other eggs is not publicly released, and in some cases the owners are not even publicly known. That leaves the only option going through the known public records from auctions to find out what Faberge eggs are at the very least the most likely to be the most valuable.

The list can start with the Rosebud Egg which was given to Empress Alexandria Feodronova by Tsar Nicolas II as an Easter gift in 1895. It measures 2 5/8″ and has an estimated value of $3-$4 million.

The Hen Egg was presented to Empress Maria Feodronova on Easter of 1885 by her husband Tsar Alexander III. It measures 2 1/2″ and carries an estimated value of $3-$4 million.

The Order of George Egg was an Easter of 1916 gift to the Dowager Empress Maria Feodronova from her son Tsar Nicholas II. The estimated value of this Faberge egg is $4-$6 million.

The 1894 Renaissance Egg measuring 5 1/4″ carries an estimated value of $5-$7 million. This was also a gift from Tsar Alexander III to Empress Maria Feodronova.

The Cuckoo (Cockerel) Egg is one of the more interesting Faberge eggs. The egg itself is held in place by a gold setting, not much unlike one might expect for a ring, measuring 8″. From an ornate base a small clock adorns one side of the setting displaying tiny yet ornate jewels. The egg itself has a small hatch on the top with none other than a small cuckoo bird resting there. This was the 1900 Easter egg presented to Dowager Empress Maria Feodronova by Tsar Nicholas II. It carries an estimated value of $5-$7 million. It may not be the most expensive Faberge egg, but it is one of the most visibly memorable.

Orange Tree Egg (photo by Raymond Gorissen)

The Orange Tree Egg is yet another stunningly memorable creation standing 11 3/4 inches tall. Again, this was a gift from Tsar Nicholas II to Dowager Empress Maria Feodronva in 1911. What is so stunning about this particular egg is that the base is a mock roped in area which houses an ornate planter. From the planter rises the “orange tree” created from the egg which is green and dotted with small jewels. The detail is amazing and that is reflected in its $10-$15 million estimated value.

In 1911 the Fifteenth Anniversary Egg was created which depicts significant members of the Russian Riyal family as well as a coronation scene. Considering this egg only measures 5 1/8 inches, the detail is alarmingly breathtaking. As would be expected tiny gems help border portions of this egg, but the real beauty is the masterful artwork. This was presented to Empress Alexandra Feodronova by her husband Tsar Nicholas II carrying an estimated value of $12-$15 million.

The Lillies of the Valley Egg made in 1898 as a gift from Tsar Nicholas II to Empress Alexandra Feodronova carries an estimated value of $13-$17 million. The base is three gold legs which support lilies that hold the egg in place. From the egg itself stings of gems run from the top until they gently droop to the tops of the legs creating a dazzling visual effect. At the top, three small painted portraits are housed in oval frames and topped by a small replica of the royal crown. The portraits depict Tsar Nicholas II and his children Olga and Tatiana. The height of this piece is a total of 7 7/8″.

The Coronation Egg is the most famous of all due in large part to it’s incredibly unique nature and its recording setting $18.5 million dollar known price tag established at auction. The egg itself was created in 1897 and presented to Empress Alexandra Feodronova on Easter by Tsar Nicholas II. The egg measures 5″ and is nearly all gold with the exception of the accents which recreate the robe worn by the Tsarina at her coronation. Inside the egg is a 4″ replica of the Imperial coach the Tsarina rode in on her way to the coronation. Many people recall this being the object piece of the heist in the movie Oceans 12.

While it is hard to be exact, this represents what is generally considered to be the most valuable Faberge Eggs. This could change quickly should any be released for sale which at this time seems unlikely. Again these values are also based on what is known from what information was released from auctions, and does not take into account what is theorized some of the known pieces held privately or in museums may fetch.

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