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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Missing Tsarist Dagger Found On Hollywood Street Corner




LOS ANGELES -- A jewel-encrusted dagger given to Tsar Alexander III was found Tuesday on a Hollywood street corner, two days after it disappeared from an exhibit at the Queen Mary ocean liner-turned-hotel.


The thieves apparently ditched the 19th-century artifact, valued at $50,000, when they realized they could not sell the high-profile item, police Sergeant Bob Brophy said.


An anonymous caller had told KCBS-TV television station where the knife and its jeweled sheath could be found, Brophy said.


The dagger was placed in a large envelope marked "handle with care'' and was left behind a telephone booth, Brophy said. It did not appear to be damaged.


The dagger is about 28 centimeters long with a curved steel blade and a gold hilt set with emeralds and turquoise. Its sheath also is gold-plated and jeweled.


It was part of a 481-piece exhibit on loan from the Russian Museum of Ethnography in St. Petersburg consisting of presents given to the last tsars. Alexander III received the dagger in 1883 as a gift from the emir of Bukhara.


The dagger's disappearance was noticed Sunday afternoon, said Lovetta Kramer, Queen Mary marketing vice president.


She wouldn't say how the dagger was removed from its case, but said a security camera had been trained on it.


Kramer said a theft of this kind has never happened before on the Queen Mary. "We were really very surprised and saddened," she said.


Kramer also declined to comment in detail about security measures on the 306-meter ship, but said an additional guard has been added to the exhibit.


Detectives are reviewing videotape from the camera, said Long Beach police Officer David Marander.


The exhibit, "Treasures of the Last Russian Emperor,'' is on display through April 22.