Ah, those attics and forgotten things in them which later reach incredible prices at auctions… First Group of Old Baseball Cards Found in Attic Brought $566,132; Cezanne’s Early Work Collected Dust In The Attic Could Be Worth £40 Million are some of the titles relating to the incredible secrets that are hidden in attics. Another such an example comes from New York estate where rare Faberge figurine found stashed in the attic of George and Betty Davis was sold at auction for $5.2 million. The last of such hardstone figures sold for $1.8 million in 2005, at Sotheby’s, New York.
Designed by renowned Russian jeweler Faberge, the tiny figurine is a hardstone portrait figure of Nikolai Nikolaievich Pustynnikov, who was a loyal personal Cossack bodyguard to Empress Alexandra Feodorovna. It was given by Russian Czar Nicholas II to his wife in 1912, only a few years before the revolution that led to the fall of the Romanov family. The bill of sale shows that the figure was acquired by Armand Hammer. Then in December 1934 the antique was sold at the Hammer Galleries in Manhattan to Mr. George Davis for $2250. It remained in the Davis family until the recent Stair Galleries auction in Hudson, New York.
Just 50 figures were known to have been carved by Faberge. They are therefore extremely rare, on a level of rarity with the Imperial Easter Eggs, though production of portrait figures of known historical persons is even more rare for the House of Faberge.