Author Topic: Forbes collection of Faberge  (Read 16741 times)

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Chris Snyder

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Forbes collection of Faberge
« on: January 30, 2004, 08:34:12 PM »
I just read on the Alexander homepage that the Forbes collection of Faberge will be going up for auction in April.  Does anyone know why?

Offline BobAtchison

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Re: Forbes collection of Faberge
« Reply #1 on: January 30, 2004, 09:10:18 PM »
Chris, maybe we can get Nick to come in here and tell us more.

Offline JD

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Re: Forbes collection of Faberge
« Reply #2 on: January 31, 2004, 01:07:18 AM »
Quote
I do not know for sure but  the Forbes Collection of the fabulous Easter Eggs is a part of the late Mr Forbes estate.

Possibly his sons do not have the interest in them that their father did or they need  some quick cash.

I saw many of them in San Diego years ago and I was very surprised by how small the golden  eggs were.  These Faberge eggs are actually the size of real eggs.  

One had a big dent in the side of it...I guess someone dropped it.  Imagine dropping a  Faberge egg that is worth 15 million dollars!

Also I was taken aback by how dusty they were, even though they were on display in a museum!


I just read Nicholson's article on the front page - was that the egg that its buyer through at his wife, by any chance? You'd have to be in the midst of a pretty heated conjugal fight to select a faberge egg as your weapon of choice.

I had NO idea they were actually only egg-sized, thanks for sharing that! They look, I don't know, milkjug sized in the pictures I see. I guess that's due to presentation and the fact that they're so finely crafted.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by JD »

Chris Snyder

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Re: Forbes collection of Faberge
« Reply #3 on: January 31, 2004, 03:19:59 PM »
I just looked at the Sothebys Auction web page online (Sothebys.com) and was amazed at the pre-auction estimates.  The lowest priced egg was $2-3 million!  Total estimate for all of the eggs and another 180 items of Faberge from the collection is $90 million!  Just amazing. In a press release on the Forbes website (Forbes.com)  it quoted one of the family members (I don't recall who right now) as saying "the collection is being sold so that others can enjoy collecting the pieces as we have".  This same family member also said "this sale will help each of us to reazlize our own path in life, which is something that has always been done in our family".   It is really too bad, because now the eggs will be scattered to the winds and who knows if we will ever get to see them again.  

Offline jda

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Re: Forbes collection of Faberge
« Reply #4 on: February 01, 2004, 03:39:40 PM »
After reading Nick Nicholson's article on the Imperial Eggs I wanted to make a comment .  In his paragraph on the last egg produced he stated that it was delivered to Grand Duke Vladimir at his palace .  This was in October of 1917 ignoring the fact that the Grand Duke died in 1909.

Nick Nicholson

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Re: Forbes collection of Faberge
« Reply #5 on: February 02, 2004, 10:59:14 AM »
First, I would like to thank everyone for their inteest in my article, and in the works of Karl Faberge.

First, I would like to address the comment by JDA which is absolutely correct.  My article should read that the egg was delivered to "The Grand Duke Vladimir's Palace", and not to the Grand Duke himself, who was indeed deceased in 1917.

Second, as Platon mentioned, it is true, the Forbes children have very different collecting interests.  Kip forbes collects  artworks and memorabilia pertaining to the court of Napoleon III and Empress Eugenie, while his brother Steve Forbes is an avid collector of Presidential papers.

Finally, to JD; the earliest eggs were, in fact, egg sized, but many of the eggs are much larger.  The range in size from about 4 inches to as much as 10 or 11 inches in overall height.  Of the Imperial Eggs, the most massive is certainly the Uspensky Cathedral Egg in the collection of the Kremlin, and the smallest is the First Imperial Egg in the Forbes collection.

The reasons for the sale are unclear though the means of the sale is not.  Malcolm Forbes always said that if the eggs were ever to be sold, he wanted them sold at auction.  The family is certainly complying with his wish.

There is speculation for the reasons.  It was reported in the NY TImes that Forbes magazine Advertising is down by 50% in the past two years, and many feel that Steve Forbes run for the presidency may have contributed to the fiscal strain which makes this deaccessioning advisable.

I certainly hope that all the best pieces go to public collections where they may be admired as easily as they were at the Forbes Collection in New York.

Best,   Nick Nicholson

Nick Nicholson

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Re: Forbes collection of Faberge
« Reply #6 on: February 03, 2004, 12:42:00 PM »
The Winter Egg has been sold twice in the past ten years.

It was offered first for sale by a Private American Collector, and was bought by a private European Collector.

The same collector offered it in 1999, and it was sold (I have heard) to a different Private European Collector.

Nick Nicholson

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Re: Forbes collection of Faberge
« Reply #7 on: February 03, 2004, 12:46:38 PM »
Forgive me, the Winter Egg was sold for the first time in Geneva on November 16, 1994, and then again in New York on April 19, 2002.

Nick

Offline Valmont

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Re: Forbes collection of Faberge
« Reply #8 on: February 04, 2004, 12:01:26 PM »
Does anyone has a list of the nine Imperial Easter  Eggs that were bought by  Victor Vekselberg from the Forbes collection?
Arturo Vega-Llausás

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Re: Forbes collection of Faberge
« Reply #9 on: February 04, 2004, 12:21:21 PM »
Valmont,
Read Nick Nicholson's original article on the Alexander Palace Main Page.

Offline BobAtchison

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Re: Forbes collection of Faberge
« Reply #10 on: February 04, 2004, 12:22:04 PM »
Valmont:

I believe the list is in Nick's article.

Bob

Offline BobAtchison

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Re: Forbes collection of Faberge
« Reply #11 on: February 04, 2004, 12:29:12 PM »
It would be wonderful for the eggs and the family's others from the Forbe's sale to return to the Alexander Palace and be shown where they were meant to be.  It probably wouldn't be a good idea to put them in the same cases where they were originally shown.  In the Maple Room the egg case was above a circular sofa in a corner and rather high up. Nicholas kept his collection of Faberge cases in his bathroom on a table near the door to his study.  Neither of these locations would make it easy to see them.  The Alexander Palace has a number of rooms that would work very well as exhibition space to show the eggs and other Faberge.  I hope it will happen - at least some day I hope the eggs will come back to the palace for a temporary exhibition.

An exhibit of the eggs there would probably also prompt a complete restoration of the family's rooms in the palace - which would be a great thing.

Bob

Offline Valmont

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Re: Forbes collection of Faberge
« Reply #12 on: February 04, 2004, 02:21:58 PM »
I somehow had the idea the resurection egg had been the first of the Imperial eggs, then, what's the story on this one, alone with the Spring flowers egg??
Arturo Vega-Llausás

Nick Nicholson

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Re: Forbes collection of Faberge
« Reply #13 on: February 04, 2004, 03:29:22 PM »
When an Imperial Easter Egg was ordered, a letter was sent by His Majesty's Cabinet to the Faberge firm, authorizing them to invent and execute a work at their own discretion, subject and price to be determined by them, though the cabinet always let Faberge know if there were an important occasion that was celebrated that year ( an anniversary, birth, or historic event...)  As a result, these eggs were never considered part of Faberge's inventory -- they were special commissions.

The Spring Flowers Egg has an inventory number, meaning that it was once part of the firm's stock-in-trade.  Therefore, the egg was created by Faberge, and then sold through the store in Saint Petersburg.  This Egg was presumably purchased either by a member of the Imperial Family, or another group for presentation to the Empress Mariya Feodorovna -- it is NOT, however an Imperial Egg, (meaning) it was not orderedby the Imperial Cabinet on the behalf of Nicholas II for his mother or his wife.

The Resurrection Egg has no inventory number, and there is no documentation which supports the theory that it was a commission for the Imperial Family.

Current scholarship maintains the egg is by Faberge, but there is no documentation to support that fact.  Personally, I think it is by another maker -- but that is just me.

Hope this answers your question Valmont!

Nick

Chris Snyder

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Re: Forbes collection of Faberge
« Reply #14 on: February 04, 2004, 08:13:33 PM »
I am so glad that the eggs will be returning to where they should have always been!  There they will be safe and loved for a very long time, and now the Russian people will  be able to appreciate them, as we in the U.S.  always have. It would have been terrible for them to be scattered again all over the world.  Now at least they will remain together and join the collection already in Russia, for an even more spectacular display. Although it makes me just a little sad that they will never be seen in the States again, it just gives me another good reason to visit Russia!!