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Gold and Diamonds at New Faberge Museum

A Russian collector, Alexander Ivanov, is set to open a museum in Germany that will display Faberge eggs and other luxury Faberge items, many of them crafted with diamonds and precious gemstones. Ivanov, 46, had originally intended to open the museum in Russia, but building costs and bureaucracy issues forced him to move the location to Baden-Baden, Germany.

Peter Carl Faberge supplied the Russian Imperial court with luxury items in the late 19th and early 20th century. Faberge is best known for the famous Faberge eggs, which were crafted in the style of Easter eggs but used precious gemstones and diamonds rather than everyday materials. Of the 105 Faberge eggs known to have been created, sixty-nine have survived.

Ivanov claims his 3,000-piece collection of luxury Faberge items is worth $1.5 billion. He owns a 1902 Faberge egg, which he bought in 2007 at a Christie’s auction in London. The egg contains a clock and a diamond-set cockerel that pops up every hour.

Among the other notable Faberge items on display is the Karelian Birch egg, which is made of birch with gold and diamonds. It was crafted in 1917 for Czar Nicholas II, who was deposed before he could present the gift to his mother. The Karelian Birch egg is the second to last egg ever made.

The museum is scheduled to open by 2011.

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