A thief who stole £800,000 worth of rare Imperial Russian court Fabergé objects and jewellery from Christies Auctioneers last December, has gone on trial in London. Richard Tobin, 45, a Glaswegian confessed to the theft from the west end auction house.
Southwark Crown Court were told that there is still no sign of the missing items. Jack Talbot the suspect’s defence lawyer added: “He accepts he took the items. It may be part of the mitigation that he did not know their value.” Judge Owen Davies explained to the defendant : “What happened to the property is uppermost in the court’s mind. “The court does not have time to consider carefully your case so you will be appearing via video link on April 8. “You will be remanded in custody and you face a long prison sentence.”
The bejewelled gold Faberge clock is worth an estimated £125,000. It was created in St Petersburg, at the turn of the 20th century. Other items still missing include a Faberge Jasmine flower in silver gilt, valued at £550,000, a Faberge carved bulldog, a carved cockerel both valued at £25,000 and rings worth £20,000. The court also were told about a silver gilt aquamarine necklace estimated at £35,000.
Faberge eggs were first produced In 1885 for Tsar Alexander III, who commissioned them from the Royal jeweller, Peter Carl Faberge’s workshop. They were created as a special Easter present for his wife, Maria Fedorovna. This was a special gift produced for the most important holiday on the Russian Orthodox calendar. After Alexander’s death in 1894, his son Nicholas II assumed the throne and continued the Faberge egg tradition, this time ordering two eggs-one for his mother, Maria Fedorovna, and one for his German wife, Alexandra Fedorovna. Faberge’s workshop would continue to produce Faberge eggs until 1917 The Faberge eggs are also a rarity as the studio only produced them between 1885 and 1917. The most expensive egg was manufactured in 1913 and would be valued at tens of millions today.