3 min read

Pieces of Eight: Faberge Egg Liberated From an Oligarch, Buzz's Suit and Ali's Belt.

Pieces of Eight: Faberge Egg Liberated From an Oligarch, Buzz's Suit and Ali's Belt.

Start saving your money, space fans: Edwin "Buzz" Aldrin's moon landing jacket is up for auction next week.   The only space-flown garment from NASA's Apollo 11 mission still in private hands, the coverall is expected to fetch bids of $1 million to $2 million, according to the sale organiser, Sotheby's.

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Our Take: This auction is about more than the anticipated hammer price, it tells the story of human endeavour and triumph over adversity. Aldrin said "From the jacket that I wore on my trip to the Moon and back, to the famous broken circuit breaker switch that nearly ended our lives, and the pen that saved us, to various artefacts we used to complete the mission.....I hope that this collection offers some insight into what it has been like to be Buzz Aldrin.”

🥊 Muhammad Ali’s WBC championship belt, awarded after he reclaimed boxing’s heavyweight title with a 1974 knockout of George Foreman, sold for a stunning $6.18 million early Sunday at Heritage Auctions.  The buyer was Indianapolis Colts owner and avid collector Jim Irsay.

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Our Take: 'The rumble in the jungle' entered sporting folklore as the ultimate underdog fight. The fight's worldwide audience is estimated by some at over one billion (although this is unverified), add to the equation the controversy around whether it was a 'quick-count' and you have an incredible story to tell. Thankfully, the new owner is planning on telling that story to the general public as part of a larger display.

🐣 When U.S. authorities seized a $300 million yacht from a Russian oligarch, they were shocked to discover what appeared to be a Fabergé egg on board.  The jewel-encrusted Fabergé eggs, created between 1885 and 1917, are one of Russia’s best-known cultural exports. Experts believe that there were up to 69 made, including 50 “Imperial Eggs” made for the Russian tsars Alexander III and Nicholas II. Today, there are 57 known surviving eggs, 44 of which were part of the royal collection.

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Our Take: The concept of high value assets being seized from Russian oligarchs is obviously in vogue, but the most intriguing element of the story stems from the provenance. As is so often the case, the value of the item will be impacted by those authenticating it. Tony Faber, a respected author on the topic has already cast doubts on whether this is a one the 7 currently 'missing' since 1917, instead suggesting it is more likely to be fake or much lower value. It's a big call to make considering the last Faberge egg at auction sold for nearly $20m!

🎨 For Showpiece number three, we've offered collectors an incredible world first opportunity to own part of the original masterpiece and a Warhol Foundation approved edition replica to proudly display at home.  A scannable 'Showpiece Crystal Plinth' links the physical item directly to your digital ownership.


That's it for this week, thanks as always for reading and if you have any comments please get in touch via hello@showpiece.com.

The Showpiece Team