Faberge box to auction for $15,560 in New Zealand?

A late imperial period Faberge box will star at a fine jewellery auction in Auckland, New Zealand on June 20.

The rare box, produced between 1908-1917, was fashioned from panels of lapis lazuli framed in yellow gold, and is expected to sell for up to NZ$20,000 ($15,560).

Faberge box
Is this rare box significantly undervalued?

It features an engraved lid, bordered by seed pearls, in addition to a thumb-piece set with diamonds.

It bears the marks for Faberge, workmaster Henrik Wigstrom, and the Russian city of St. Petersburg 1908-1917 - all in Cyrillic script.

Jewellery expert Chris Devereux commented: "Such pieces appear in the market only very rarely, and are highly sought after", adding: "It is anticipated to gain the interest of collectors and connoisseurs both nationally and internationally".

Two Faberge boxes sold for $458,500 and $362,500, respectively, in April. Although both pieces were more decorative than the upcoming item, it suggests that the estimate could be conservative.

The Russian manufacturer is renowned for its craftsmanship, and the great value of its pieces.

It is, of course, best known for its eggs. The Faberge Rothschild Egg, made in 1902, sold to the director of the Russian National Museum, Alexander Ivanov, for a world record $18.49m in 2007.

"The history of Faberge is intimately and forever linked with the romance surrounding the splendour of the Russian imperial court," says the auction house.

The sale also includes a Cartier watch, set with more than 12 carats of diamonds. It has a high estimate of $85,000 ($66,140).

We will bring you the results from the sale as soon as they happen.

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