A scrap metal dealer has sold a gold Faberge egg, which he bought for $13,000, for $33.3 million.
The unidentified scrap metal dealer purchased the ornate metal egg in a flea market in the American Midwest thinking that he could sell it at a modest profit for the gold content.
The dealer began to suspect he was holding a rare piece after seeing an article online about an imperial Faberge Easter egg made for Russian royalty. The dealer contacted Wartski art and antique dealers, who verified the egg as genuine and negotiated its sale to a collector. The egg proved to be an extremely rare Faberge egg once owned by Russia’s Tsar Alexander III.
The egg, which contains a Vacheron Constantin watch, sits on a jeweled gold stand. It was given by Alexander III to his wife Empress Maria Feodorovna in1887 and had been seized and lost during the Russian Revolution.
Only 50 of the imperial eggs were made. Eight were missing before the latest find but only three of those are thought to have survived the Russian Revolution.