Dispatches > Quick Takes

Quick Takes

"Quick Takes" Continued...

Issue: "American bounty," Nov. 30, 2013

Hidden treasure

A small wooden box found in an attic in Rhinebeck, N.Y., held a grand treasure inside—a Fabergé figure of Nikolai Nikolaievich Pustynnikov, Cossack bodyguard to Empress Alexandra Feodorovna. Tsar Nicholas II had the elaborate little figure made in 1912 for his wife Alexandra. After the Russian Revolution, the figure was acquired by tycoon Armand Hammer. In 1934 a gallery sold it to George Davis for $2,250. Davis apparently passed it down to his children, George and Betty Davis of Rhinebeck, who didn’t know its value and kept it wrapped up in their attic. The executor of their estate found it there last spring. The price it fetched at a recent auction: $5.2 million.

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