Jewellers' investment preserves Anglo-Saxon treasure

Court jewellers Wartski have donated £57,395 in order to purchase 81 pieces of Anglo-Saxon treasure found last November in the same field as the Staffordshire hoard, in response to a campaign to ensure that the new finds remain in the West Midlands alongside the original hoard.

Eighty-one of the 91 objects found in November - including a helmet piece, a cross-shaped mount and an eagle-shaped mount - were declared treasure. They have been linked to the 3,500 pieces found in Hammerwich in 2009.

The original hoard, dated to the 7th and 8th Centuries, was found by metal detectorist Terry Herbert on the land owned by farmer Fred Johnson. It was subsequently valued at about £3.3m. Stoke-on-Trent City Council and Birmingham City Council jointly own the 3,500 artefacts and have permanent displays at the Potteries Museum and Art Gallery and Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery. [III


A rare photo of Chaumet’s blue enamel kokoshnik, property of the Dukes of Westminster, seen here at the Wartski exhibition of May 2006. The exhibition was devoted to ‘Fabergé and the Russian jewellers’. Loans ranged from the eighteenth century to 1917 and included several pieces from the Russian crown jewels as well as works by Fabergé and his contemporaries. A section of the exhibition explored the theme of ice and icicles in jewellery conceived for Fabergé by Alma Pihl, who designed the famous Imperial Winter Egg. The Victoria and Albert Museum was one of several public institutions that lent to the show, the majority of piece however were lent by anonymous private collectors.

Aquamarine and diamond brooch set in gold given to Princess Alix of Hesse as an engagement gift by her suitor, Tsar Nicholas II.
It was found in Yekaterinburg after the murder of the Empress and later sold by the Soviets. Currently owned by Wartski, London.


A truly remarkable find, Wartski has announced the finding of the lost Third Imperial Easter Egg by Carl Fabergé. The golden egg was a gift from Alexander III Emperor and Autocrat of all the Russias to his wife Empress Marie Feodorovna for Easter in 1887.

The following text, sharing the history of the egg, is from Wartski:

The jewelled and ridged yellow gold Egg stands on its original tripod pedestal, which has chased lion paw feet and is encircled by coloured gold garlands suspended from cabochon blue sapphires topped with rose diamond set bows.

It contains a surprise of a lady’s watch by Vacheron Constantin, with a white enamel dial and openwork diamond set gold hands. The watch has been taken from its case to be mounted in the Egg and is hinged, allowing it to stand upright.

Made in the workshop of Fabergé’s
Chief-Jeweller: August Holmström,
St. Petersburg, 1886-1887.

Height 8.2 cm.

Fifty Imperial Easter Eggs were delivered by Carl Fabergé to Emperors Alexander III  and Nicholas II from 1885 to 1916. The Third Imperial Easter Egg was until its recent rediscovery among the eight lost Imperial Fabergé Eggs.

The egg will be exhibited at Wartski from 14th to 17th April 2014. This will be the first time it has been seen in public for 112 years.

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