$33 Million Faberge Egg Bought at Flea Market for a Fraction of the Cost

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By Sachin Trivedi | March 21, 2014 4:31 PM EST

A man bought a golden egg for $14,000 at a flea market sale not realizing that it was one of the long lost Faberge egg made for the Russian Royal family worth over $33 million. The man was considering melting the object for the gold.

Reuters
One of the missing Imperial Faberge Easter Eggs made for the Russian Royal family is seen in this handout photograph received via Wartski in London March 20, 2014. When a scrap metal dealer from the Midwestern United States bought a golden ornament at a junk market, it never crossed his mind that he was the owner of the opulent $20 million Faberge egg hailing from Russia's imperial court. REUTERS/Prudence Cuming Associates/Wartski/Handout via Reuters

According to a report by CNN, the man who did not wish to be identified searched online by typing the words "Vacheron Constantin," which he found engraved on the egg. He discovered that the egg may have belonged to Russian Tsar Alexander III.

 Alexander III ruled over Russia in the 19th century. He reportedly became the heir to the throne in 1865 after his elder brother died. His elder brother Nicholas is said to have insisted that Alexander III marry Nicholas' fiancé, Princess Dagmar, daughter of the Danish king.

The missing golden egg which was bought at the flea market sale is believed to be a gift from Alexander III to his wife on Easter. The couple were deeply in love and had six children. His wife took the name Maria Fyodorovna and the Tsar called her "Minnie."

Alexander III became the ruler of Russia in a very difficult time. The economy of the country was not in a very good shape after the Russian-Turkish war between 1877 and 1878 and his father was assassinated by revolutionaries in 1881.

Alexander III moved quickly and had all the revolutionaries responsible for his father's death executed. He went about restoring law and order in the country and promoted trade and commerce.

He had a cautious foreign policy and did not get involved in any wars during his reign. For this reason he was called "The Peacemaker." He was a highly respected leader in his country and in Europe. So the golden egg that he had possessed gains significance.

The golden egg was verified by Kieran McCarthy, an expert on Russian artifacts, who confirmed that it was genuine. The egg was auctioned off to an anonymous buyer who did not wish to be identified.

The Jewel studded golden egg can be opened and contains the Vacheron Constantin watch inside. It was one of the eight missing eggs that people have been looking for. The egg was last seen over a112 years ago.

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(Photo: Reuters / )
One of the missing Imperial Faberge Easter Eggs made for the Russian Royal family is seen in this handout photograph received via Wartski in London March 20, 2014. When a scrap metal dealer from the Midwestern United States bought a golden ornament at a junk market, it never crossed his mind that he was the owner of the opulent $20 million Faberge egg hailing from Russia's imperial court. REUTERS/Prudence Cuming Associates/Wartski/Handout via Reuters
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