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Imperial Faberge eggs head for auction

Jan. 9, 2004 at 8:57 AM

NEW YORK, Jan. 9 (UPI) -- Nine Imperial Faberge Easter eggs from Czarist Russia, the last pieces of a legendary collection, go on sale in April at Sotheby's in New York.

The collection, acquired over a lifetime by Malcolm Forbes, the publishing magnate, and second in size only to the 10 in the Kremlin, will be offered along with 180 other Faberge objects from the Forbes holdings. Together they are expected to sell for at least $90 million, the New York Times said Friday.

The extraordinary materials and workmanship that went into these eggs, coupled with their size -- most are no more than 6 inches tall -- make them perhaps the most luxurious baubles ever produced.

Many Americans are passionate Faberge collectors. Other buyers could come from among newly rich Russian collectors and the Kremlin itself, which might want to add to its trove of Imperial eggs.

Britain's royal family also has important Faberge holdings, which are on view in Buckingham Palace.

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