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Tracking down the ultimate Faberge Egg

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Seven missing Faberge eggs still out there waiting to be found



Where does one find the ultimate egg… of the Fabergé kind? The answer may be to search some 1300 auction sites via Barnebys, the worlds biggest and fastest growing auction search engine.

This might be one way to find one of the seven missing jewel-encrusted Fabergé eggs, each worth a king’s ranson. Instead of having to trawl through hundreds of auction sites Barnebys will provide you with a list of what you are searching for as well as a history of what similar objects or works of art have sold for at auction.

In the case of Fabergé eggs the Barnebys database provides no fewer than 758 Fabergé eggs sold via Christie’s, Sotheby’s, Bonhams and many smaller auctioneers - one made over £10m. These wonderful eggs include some with hidden surprises, some that tell the time and some that play music. Very often they were the gift of choice for Emperors, Kings and especially the Tsars to their loved ones.

In total there are no fewer than 57 jewel-bedecked eggs commissioned by the Russian Tsar, as an annual Easter gift for his wife the Tsarina. The first egg was produced in 1885 on the orders of Alexander III of Russia. Maria Feodorovna the Tsarina was so fond of these eggs that Alexander appointed Peter Carl Fabergé to the Royal Warrant. Every Easter, he and his colleagues presented a new egg, totally unique, with a surprise inside. Nicholas II of Russia took over the tradition and went on to provide the unique Easter gifts both to his wife, Alexandra Feodorovna and widowed Czarina.

Pontus Silfverstolpe, co-founder of Barnebys, says: “We know that one egg went with Maria Feodorovna in 1918 when she left the country. The other eggs were forgotten or removed during the Russian Revolution, some of which were stolen. In the 1930s Joseph Stalin sold fourteen eggs through western auction houses to raise much needed money. Today there are 21 eggs left in Russia in the Kremlin Museum.

During WW2 some of the lost eggs were traded for bread and food. Recently an American scrap dealer bought an egg in a flea market which turned out to be one of the eight missing Fabergé eggs. It is expected to sell for around $200m when it comes to auction in London this April.”

In 2004 there was great excitement when the Russian gas and oil billionaire Viktor Vekselberg bought the world's second largest Fabergé collection of nine eggs. He commented to the BBC after the sale: "The religious, spiritual and emotional content captured by these Fabergé eggs touches upon the soul of the Russian people.”

For those of seeking one of those missing gems so beloved by the Tsars it will take time, patience, a great deal of searching and huge amounts of luck. But there are seven lost Fabrgé eggs left out there, somewhere Keeping an eye on Barnebys website may just help to unearth one of those fabled eggs.

For more information please visit www.barnebys.co.uk

Unwanted treasure in your attic? It could help save Twickenham’s national treasure

Twickenham Festival charity auction

Do you have a collectable item that is now surplus to your needs? Would you help to restore one of Twickenham’s greatest treasures by donating it to a charity auction during Twickenham Festival?

As part of the Twickenham Festival High Road Auctions, Twickenham, is generously holding a charity auction of high quality collectables to benefit Turner’s House Trust Appeal. It takes place at 2pm on Sunday 21 June and will feature donations of paintings, ceramics, glass, silver, jewellery and furniture. Among items already promised is a wonderful drawing by WW2 artist Feliks Topolski and a 1790s watercolour of the Thames at Brentford.

Sandycombe Lodge, the country villa that our universally acclaimed landscape artist JMW Turner designed as his country retreat, is to be saved for the nation. However, in order for restoration work to proceed, Turner’s House Trust, which has already raised over £2 million, must find the final £250,000.

“We have been generously supported by private and institutional donors, as well as many pro bono hours donated by our wonderful volunteers. We just need to get the final slice,” explained Catherine Parry-Wingfield, the Trust’s chairman.

“High Road Auctions is delighted to be hosting the charity auction to benefit Turner’s House Trust as part of the Twickenham Festival. We hope it will be a fun event in support of a worthy cause and we look forward to welcoming everyone to our saleroom,” said David Holmes, branch manager, High Road Auctions, Twickenham.

“This a great opportunity for all of us to help preserve for the nation this unique 3-dimensional Turner work that we are so lucky to have in Twickenham. We are extremely grateful to have this wonderful support from High Road Auctions. Even if you have nothing to donate, do come and join us on the day: you may even return home with something new to cherish,” said Catherine Parry-Wingfield.

Auction donations should be delivered to High Road Auctions, 55-61 Heath Road: smaller items from Tuesday 9 June; larger items such as furniture from Tuesday 16 June. All items delivered by 6pm Wednesday 17 June.

Charity launches online auction in aid of Europe’s first elephant sanctuary

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Internationally renowned artists’ works of Kate Moss, Marilyn Monroe and Dita Von Teese to be auctioned

Today, 14 May 2015, an online auction launches which aims to raise £350,000 to support the charitable efforts of ‘Elephant Haven’ in establishing Europe’s first elephant sanctuary.

It is estimated that over 600 elephants in Europe are in need of a safe haven. An increasing number of European countries have banned the use of elephants in circuses, but such elephants have nowhere to go. Elephant Haven are seeking to offer these elephants a place in which to retire in peace. A suitable site for the sanctuary has been identified and secured in South of France but the charity is in need of an additional £350,000 in funding in order to make the project a reality.

Pieces for the auction, which will be managed by Rosebery’s, reflect the worlds of art, fashion, music and design and have been kindly donated by Elephant Family (a charity that protects endangered elephants in Asia) the artists themselves and also by a number of galleries. Pieces include artworks from illustrator Quentin Blake, sculptor Angela Connor, urban artist Dom Pattinson (whose pieces grace the walls of Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie, piece donated by Zebra One gallery) and photographer Gitte Meldgaarde - who has donated a sensual photographic print of Dita von Teese. Also on the lot are works from fashion icons such as Dame Vivienne Westwood, Stephen Jones and Dinny Hall, in addition to items from Sir Peter Blake, Polly Morgan, Billy Childish, Patti Smith and Corrine Day.

The online auction is uniquely accessible, with some reserve prices starting at just £100 sitting alongside big ticket items including two original 1990 photograph prints of Kate Moss by Kate Garner, a Russell Young screen print of Marilyn Monroe adorned with diamond dust (kindly donated by Bankrobber Gallery) an Anita Klein original, an ink on paper work from Yoko Ono, and a print from Julian Lennon.

The celebrities, artists and influential figures involved in the exhibition have all contributed their thoughts on the important issue of elephant welfare. Julian Lennon commented, “I’m interested to see how human consciousness will evolve when freedom and respect for other animals is achieved. Sanctuaries for refugee elephants such as Elephant Haven are the brick and mortar for what is a fundamental rights issue.”

The online auction launches today, and will remain live until a live auction takes place at Library, Covent Garden, on 9 June. For tickets to the evening Auction on 9 June, search for ‘Elephant Haven’ on www.eventbrite.co.uk.

To view the collection and to bid online, visit auctions.roseberys.co.uk. For more information, please visit www.elephanthaven.org.

The event has been organised by Meesh Bryant and Kate Garner from Bolt Agency, for Elephant Haven. Additional thanks are also due to: John Marchant Gallery, Bankrobber Gallery, Paul Stolper, Gimpel Fils and Scream.