A Faberge hardstone figure was found last summer during a search of the attic of a Rhinebeck, N.Y., house included in an estate. A small, plain box was opened and inside was the rare carved figure sitting on silk lining labeled with the Faberge emblem. A December 1934 bill of sale from Hammer Galleries was also found. Armand Hammer bought many Russian treasures with the help of the Soviet government, which needed cash in the 1930s. The 7-inch-high figure of the bodyguard to Empress Alexandra was made of jasper, sapphires, nephrite, sardonyx, purpurine, gold, enamel and cachalong (a type of opal). It was estimated at $500,000 to $800,000 but sold for a record $5,980,000. The buyer was a Russian jeweler who buys for his store and for private clients. The auction was held Oct. 26, 2013, by Stair Galleries in Hudson, N.Y.
Photo: Stair Galleries