|The executor of a Rhinebeck, New York estate made a huge discovery in the attic of George and Betty Davis, finding a rare Fabergé figure that recently sold at auction for $5.2 million. An unassuming wooden box held a hardstone portrait figure of Nikolai Nikolaievich Pustynnikov, who was a loyal personal Cossack bodyguard to Empress Alexandra Feodorovna.|
|“Little sapphires in the eyes, little gold trim and gold braid and all these elaborately inlayed and enameled double-headed imperial eagles." Tsar Nicholas II commissioned the famed artisans to produce the figure for his wife, Empress Alexandra in 1912, only a few years before the revolution that led to the fall of the Romanov family. Just 50 figures were known to have been carved by Fabergé.|
The rarity of such figures is close to that of the Imperial Easter Eggs though production of portrait figures of known historical persons is even more rare for the House of Fabergé. 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.|
The pre-sale auction estimate was $500,000-$800,000 for the authenticated figure that was found 6 months ago. Bidding began at $500,000 and when the gavel fell, famed London-based jeweler, Wartski, won the auction with a phone bid of $5.2 million.