Small egg, great value: US investigators may have found a Fabergé egg on a confiscated oligarch yacht. If the find turns out to be real, it would be worth several million euros.
Ships, real estate, money – since the start of the Russian war of aggression in Ukraine, authorities around the world have confiscated numerous belongings of Russian oligarchs. Now there may be an extremely rare and curious object: a Fabergé egg. According to Lisa Monaco, US Deputy Attorney General, the egg was found on a confiscated oligarch yacht. “We found some interesting things and there’s a Fabergé egg underneath it, or at least we think it is,” Monaco said Wednesday during the security forum in Aspen, Colorado, where she gave a presentation on how security agencies are seizing Russian assets confiscate or freeze.
Monaco wouldn’t say who owned the egg or what yacht it was found on, but said it was from a ship that was recently brought to San Diego from Fiji. A clear indication that this is no less a yacht than the “Amadea”. The 300 million yacht docked in a port in Fiji in April and was confiscated by the authorities and handed over to US investigators. In June, the “Amadea” docked in San Diego.
With the beginning of the sanctions against oligarchs, the ship, which is attributed to the oligarch Suleiman Kerimov, had made a spectacular 10,000-kilometer escape, during which, among other things, the positioning device was switched off. The confiscation was followed by a long legal dispute as to who actually owned the yacht. The lawyer representing “Amadea” stated that the owner was not Kerimov but the oligarch Eduard Yuryevich Khudainatov – the latter was not yet on the EU sanctions list at the time of the negotiations, which only changed at the beginning of June. However, emails about installing a pizza oven and bed and buying jet skis then revealed Kerimov as the owner and ensured that the yacht passed into US ownership. However, a first attempt at transfer to the United States failed because the yacht’s crew instigated a mutiny and refused to transfer the “Amadea” to the USA.
Fabergé egg on oligarch yacht: find would be worth millions
If the find on board the yacht actually turns out to be a Fabergé egg, it would be worth millions of euros. Between 1885 and 1916, a total of 50 eggs were made in the house of Fabergé for the Russian dynasty of the Romanovs – 40 of them for Nicholas II, who had two eggs made for his mother and wife every year. Many of the gold and jeweled eggs are now in museums or privately owned, but some are believed to have been lost, including the “Egg with a Hen in a Basket” – the second oldest showpiece in the collection, dating from 1886. How valuable the artworks are , shows a random find from 2014. At that time, a scrap dealer in the USA bought a Fabergé egg at a flea market for around 10,000 euros without knowing its value. Only an internet search enlightened the buyer about his find, an expert then estimated the value of the ice: 24 million euros.
The egg may not be the first to be confiscated in the wake of sanctions against oligarchs. Another is currently causing problems for a well-known museum: the “Hen’s Egg” is currently being exhibited in London’s “Victoria and Albert Museum”, the very first of the tsar’s orders made by Fabergé. It can be seen on loan from the Fabergé Museum in St. Petersburg, which belongs to the oligarch Wiktor Wekselberg. The 65-year-old is also on the EU sanctions list, and according to experts, returning the loan to St. Petersburg could violate the sanctions.
Sources: CNN, Guardian, iNews