Faberge carving of Tyrannosaurus Rex by Faberge, a rare Faberge design that was intended to be used for Russian tsar Nicholas 2 and has been lost for over 100 year sells at $100,000

  • The ‘astonishingly rare’ dinosaur was initially listed by auctioneers for just £500
  • Geoffrey Munn, a British antiquarian expert, identified the item as an unidentified object. 
  • For 40 years, Dinosaur was kept in New York’s family display cabinet.
  • With inclusion of auction house fees, anonymous buyer paid £62,000 for T-Rex

An incredibly rare Faberge carving of a tyrannosaurus rex intended for Russian tsar Nicholas II which was lost for more than 100 years has sold for £62,000.

The model, around six inches in height and  made from jade and tiny diamonds, had been sitting in a family’s display cabinet in New York for 40 years. 

The unidentified piece was put up for sale with a provincial auction house for just £500 when it was spotted by British antiques expert Geoffrey Munn.

He instantly realized that the dinosaur was one of several animal carvings created by Carl Faberge, a renowned Russian jeweller.

The model, which is missing its two front legs due to possibly having been played with by a child, is believed to have been intended for Russian Emperor Nicholas II.

The incredible rare Faberge dinosaur may have fetched £250,000 if it did not have two missing arms

The incredible rare Faberge dinosaur may have fetched £250,000 if it did not have two missing arms

Mr Munn had earlier written about the T-Rex carving in his 2015 book about London Faberge dealers Wartski.

He was not unlike other experts and assumed that the carving was lost in perpetuity. However, he was shocked to discover it was up for sale.

With his input, the item sold at auction for a hammer price of £50,000 – more than 10 times the initial sale price. 

In total, with the inclusion of auction house fees, the price paid by an anonymous buyer was £62,000.

Without the damage, it is believed the dinosaur could have fetched up to £250,000.   

Munn stated that he worked all his life for Wartski and has access to archives photos. There are many images of the object. This object has never been seen or touched by me before.

“It wasn’t that I believed it to be Faberge. I only knew this because I saw the archive photograph. The animal measures almost six inches high, which is quite tall for a Faberge.

“It’s astonishingly rare. It was something I had never expected to find in my lifetime. The auctioneers had to know the truth. It is my hope that it will be purchased by a museum which will then restore it.

The tyrannosaurus rex was sat in a small display cabinet belonging to a late gemologist in New York for around 40 years

For around 40 years, the tyrannosaurus reptile was kept in an old New York gemologist’s small cabinet.

A woman in New York sold the T-Red.

After the passing of her father in law, she was left with many antiques. He had been a traveler and gemologist who acquired art works while traveling the globe.

According to legend, he is the one who brought the Faberge T-Rex over from Europe forty years ago.   

Munn stated that Faberge was the best gift shop in Russia for Russian imperial families and that the Fabere production included carved stone animals.

“The British Royal Family has such an amazing collection of Faberge due to their relationship with the Russian Royal Familie.

The strongest inference is that the carvings of animals were done for Nicholas II and Alexandra, last emperors and empresses of Russia.

“After their execution, the communist regime which replaced them had run out of money. They sold everything they could. There were also 100 Faberge pets.

Whitney Bria of Clarke Auctioneers of New York was a silver and jewel specialist who said that the unusual item was in a “small curio cupboard”.

“It was sold by a consignor who had been selling items belonged to her inlaws. It was located in an upstairs office, in a tiny curio case. Because it was a unique subject, the item stood out.

It had been in her family for approximately 40 years. She had a father-in-law who was a gemologist, a traveler around the world and had a passion for carvings. He was quite a good judge of taste.

“I’m sure they brought it home from Europe on their trips.

“We are delighted with the sale price.”