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Long-lost Faberge figurine headed to auction

Oct. 4, 2013 at 6:45 PM

HUDSON, N.Y., Oct. 4 (UPI) -- A long-lost Faberge figurine once belonging to a Russian royal was discovered in a New York state attic and is headed to auction.

Stair Galleries in Hudson, N.Y., said its Oct. 26 auction will feature a Faberge statuette of Empress Alexandra's bodyguard, Nikolai Pustynnikov, which was discovered along with its original receipts during the summer in a Rhinebeck, N.Y., attic belonging to a descendant of a collector who purchased the item in the 1930s, The New York Times reported Friday.

Stair said the figurine is expected to fetch $500,000 to $800,000 at auction.

"This is really a major addition to the literature -- it's a historical discovery," said Gerard Hill, a Faberge expert who researched it for Stair.

He said he is convinced of the item's authenticity, despite the current popularity of Faberge fakes.

"The expression in the face -- nobody can do that these days," he said.

The figurine was one of many items sold in the 1930s by dealer and industrialist Armand Hammer, who sold the royal possessions to raise money for the Soviet regime.

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