WASHINGTON, October 4 (RIA Novosti) – An ultra-rare Fabergé statuette depicting a royal Russian bodyguard that was long thought lost has been discovered in an attic in New York State and could fetch up to $800,000 at auction later this month, The New York Times has reported.
The statuette depicts Nikolai N. Pustynnikov, bodyguard to Empress Alexandra, the wife of Nikolai II, Russia’s last Tsar.
It was brought to the United States by Armand Hammer, an industrialist with close ties to the Bolsheviks, and sold at auction in New York City in the 1930s to a Fabergé collector, according to The New York Times.
However, until its recent discovery, complete with receipts, in the attic of a deceased descendant of the collector in Rhinebeck, New York, the statuette was thought lost. It will be auctioned by Stair Galleries in Hudson, New York Oct. 26 and has a presale estimate of $500,000 - $800,000.
Russian royals collected figurines depicting their subjects and the Fabergé workshop produced 50 such statuettes showing different character types using gold and semi-precious stones as materials, the Times reported Thursday.
Although Fabergé fakes are increasingly common, Gerard Hill, a specialist who researched the statuette for the auction house is convinced that this discovery is the real thing:
“The expression in the face — nobody can do that these days,” he told the Times.