Brief: Newly discovered Fabergé figurine could fetch up to $800,000

Newly discovered Fabergé figure

Nikolai N. Pustynnikov was bodyguard to Empress Alexandra, the wife of Russia’s last Tsar. Photo credit: Stair Galleries.

 

BY MICHELLE NO

The House of Fabergé is primarily known for their bejeweled Fabergé Eggs—ornate gifts which, at the height of their fame, took up to one year to create and enlisted the help of Russia’s top silversmiths, enamellers, and stonecutters. But, as a recent discovery in Rhinebeck, New York, reminds us, the workshop’s glittering output consisted of more than those spherical creations.

Assumed lost to the art world, a Fabergé statuette of Empress Alexandra’s bodyguard, Nikolai N. Pustynnikov was found this summer in the estate of a collector’s descendant. The piece, featuring exquisitely chiseled Jade and Cacholong, a relatively obscure type of Quartz, was one of 50 statuettes produced by the Fabergé staff using semiprecious stones and gold.

Despite the increased proliferation of Fabergé fakes (as exemplified by the surge of “How to Identify a Faberge Fake” articles), an expert has confirmed the figurine’s authenticity. It is expected to auction for up to $800,000 at its October 26 auction at Stair Galleries in Hudson, New York.