Ultimate Gift Guide 2014: Reality Check

The Gift A modern replica of the Turk, a chess-playing automaton that defeated Benjamin Franklin, chided Napoléon Bonaparte for cheating, and enchanted the elites of the 18th and 19th centuries. $1.5 Million for the Electronic Version or $1.2 Million For the Classic Design The wondrous creation dubbed the Turk originated from a royal dare. In 1769, […]

Money in the Banks

The upcoming auction of a mechanical-bank collection promises to draw plenty of interest. Max Berry remembers the evening in the early 1970s when he and his wife hosted Yitzhak Rabin for dinner at their Washington, D.C., home. Rabin, who would serve as Israel’s prime minister from 1974 to 1977 and from 1992 until his assassination in […]

Eggs in Many Baskets

The House of Fabergé is famous for the enameled and bejeweled Easter eggs that it made for the Russian royal family, but under the direction of Peter Carl Fabergé—who ran the business from 1872 until it was nationalized in 1917 following the Russian Revolution—the company’s workshops produced a broad range of wares that included the […]

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