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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Faberge Sale Could Set Record

APThe Rothschild Faberge egg being displayed at a London auction house.
LONDON -- A previously unrecorded egg by jeweler Peter Carl Faberge containing a clock and animated cockerel goes on sale next month with a record price tag of up to ?9 million ($18.26 million).

The translucent pink egg has never been seen in public before and was not publicly documented when it was made in 1902 for the Rothschild family.

Faberge eggs have become a byword for opulence and luxury ever since the young jeweler was commissioned in 1885 by Tsar Alexander III to make one as a gift for his wife, Maria.

The intricate pieces rarely come on the open market.

"There have been two or three in the last 10 to 15 years at auction. But to find one that has never been seen in public is absolutely extraordinary," said Anthony Philips, a director of auction house Christie's.

"There are only two other known Faberge eggs that have a clock in them and also an automaton. When the clock strikes, the cock come up, shakes its wings and sings," he added.

The record for a Russian work of art of ?6.6 million was set by the Faberge Winter Egg at Christie's New York in April 2002. That egg was of Russian Imperial Family standard and therefore commanded a premium. Most eggs were made for the tsar and his family, but a few were commissioned by wealthy collectors.

Christie's is confident the Rothschild Faberge Egg is of the same standard as the Imperial eggs and, because it bears the Rothschild provenance, may well attract similar levels of interest when it goes on sale in London on Nov. 28.

"The market is incredibly strong. There has been an explosion of Russian interest," said Philips, adding that he expected bidding interest from across the world.