Wednesday, June 19, 2013

You can't make an amulet...

In Tsarist Russia, without painting eggs.  Faberge eggs;
The jeweler and entrepreneur Carl Faberge fashioned his eponymous eggs from gems and precious metals in his St Petersburg workshop.
The first one was presented by Tsar Alexander III to his wife, the Empress Maria Fedorovna, at Easter in 1885, an annual tradition which his son Nicholas II followed with eggs for his mother and wife each Easter Sunday.
Not quite good luck charms for them, as it turned out;
It is claimed that after the Russian revolution the Romanov women sewed them into their clothes to protect against theft and the rounds of the Bolshevik firing squad pinged harmlessly off them. But they were run through with bayonets instead. 
Then the precious collectibles were sold into the West to help finance Lenin's economics fantasies. The funds not going even close to far enough.  Now, a different kind of Russian oligarch is again buying;
The belong to Viktor Vekselberg, an oil and gas tycoon who has a fortune estimated at $18bn (£11.5bn) and is often described as Russia's richest man.
In 2004 he paid $100m for nine imperial eggs - a collection second only in size to the 10 held by the Kremlin Armoury Museum in Moscow.
What else is he going to spend on, a soccer team?
"If you compare with the situation in Russia 25 years ago, in socialist times, then everyone was of course equal... We broke one system and we have just started on a new system," Mr Vekselberg said.
"Of course we have some negative results of that transition system - we have a big gap between a small group of rich men and the biggest part of the population, who are not so wealthy, but this is a process and I believe this gap will be reduced," he said. 

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