Front Runners: Home to Roost

<< Back to Robb Report, April 2004

All nine of the Fabergé imperial Easter eggs from the Forbes Collection have ended up in one basket—in Russia, from whence they originated. Sotheby’s New York was planning to host an auction in April featuring the eggs as well as 180 other Fabergé pieces from the Forbes Collection. However, in early February Victor Vekselberg, a 46-year-old Russian energy company executive, purchased the entire collection in a private sale. Peter Carl Fabergé created only 50 of the eggs, for Russian czars Alexander III and Nicholas II, and the Forbes’ nine represent the world’s second largest collection; the Kremlin has 10.

Sotheby’s declined to disclose the price of Vekselberg’s acquisition, but the auction house had anticipated that the proceeds from the now-canceled April sale would exceed $90 million. The highlight of the collection, the Coronation Egg, an 1897 gift from Nicholas II to his wife, Alexandra, was expected to draw bids of $18 million to $24 million.  

“The collection is going to Russia,” says Bob Burkett, Vekselberg’s representative in the United States, “and there are plans for it to tour a number of cities in Russia, but where it will end up has not been determined.” 

When the air had cleared after the frenzy of New York’s spring art auctions, players and spectators...
This circa-1900 pink-swirl marble is in what Dan Morphy calls “wet mint condition,” or as pristine...
Photo by Bob Tursack
Maya Angelou’s art collection focused on works by African-American masters...
The display is part of a hotel-wide renovation that will be completed by the end of the year...
Heritage Auctions will also offer Mickey Mantle’s rookie card and Mike Ditka’s Super Bowl playbook…
Photo by Cordero Studios⁄corderostudios.com
Charles and Judy Tate assembled a world-class collection of Latin American art—and then gave it all...
Photo by The Strong, Rochester, N.Y.
The American game culture is almost as old as the country itself...
Photo by Michael Richter
Visitors trekked to Maastricht, the Netherlands, for the March opening day of the European Fine Art...
Photograph by Ron Pierson, courtesy of Guernsey's
The bounty from the sunken ship includes 40 tons of silver and gold valued at $450 million…
The 13 new portraits include images of Douglas Cramer, Judy Garland, and Ernesto Esposito…