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100 millions for Faberge

A collection of jewelry items acquired by Victor Vekselberg at Sotbi auction house is expected to arrive to Russia before April 1.

According to RIA “Novosti”, Andrei Ruzhnikov, an expert in Russian art who participated in the actual negotiations, had referred to the information obtained from Vekselberg's representatives.

It has become known on Wednesday that Head of the Tyumen oil company Victor Vekselberg acquired the world's largest collection of jewelry items of Faberge at Sotheby's. The collection used to belong to American family of media-moguls Forbes.

The collection consisting of 180 of various jewelry pieces, including nine eggs made by Karl Faberge was planned to be displayed at the auction at Sotbi on April 20-21 for a starting price of 90 million dollars. However, according to the head of the auction house Bill Ruprecht, Sotbi received “a very interesting offer” from Vekselberg. International herald Tribune informs that such “interesting offer” is worth 100 million USD.

While talking about the deal in details, Ruzhnikov said that it was not made from the first attempt. According to the expert, he contacted one of the members of the Forbes family and inquired about purchasing the collection straight from them.

“At first, the family refused to talk about the subject, referring to some document signed with Sotheby's,” said the expert. They recommended conducting all sorts of negotiations with Sotheby's in New York. However, they did not exclude a possibility of selling their collection without the auction.

Afterwards, Ruzhnikov along with several lawyers contacted directors of Sotbi in New York. “Our first offer did not cause much enthusiasm among Sotheby's representatives. The second offer however appealed to them greatly,” informed the expert.

Ruzhnikov did not mention the exact price of the collection. He only mentioned that “the price seemed fair for both parties” and that it “did not underestimate the real price of the collection.”

Ruzhnikov also informed of the fact that before shipping the collection to Russia, Sotbi auction house intended to exhibit it in New York for general public.
    
Such move has been interpreted by many American experts and collectors as “Farewell to Faberge eggs.”


Source: RIA “Novosti”

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