Yesterday I had to deliver a gift to one of my employer's friends, and while there the house manager was kind enough to gave me a quick tour of the downstairs.
Although the house was attractive overall it was obviously the work of an interior decorator, with no personal touches from the family to speak of - usually the telltale sign of the new rich. To me these kinds of rooms appear cold and uninviting - like being in an up-scale furniture store rather than a private home.
While I was trying to be polite, you can imagine my shock when I spotted a knock-off copy of a Faberge egg sitting in a prominent place in the formal living room. What on earth? My first rational thought was that the decorator should immediately be thrown into prison and tortured, perhaps even locked in a room full of Alexander Calder mobiles. Plus I was confused as to why the house manager hadn't taken it upon himself to accidentally break this hideous objet d'art years ago.
You see, rich people generally eschew copies of anything - going straight for the original. And failing that, they'll buy something else altogether rather than expose themselves to gossip at having knock-offs sitting around the house.
There were only about fifty Imperial Faberge Eggs created in the first place, by Peter Carl Faberge for the Tsars of Russia. Reportedly only forty-two survive, and these bejeweled eggs are valued in the multi-millions. While a few might be in the hands of a rich private collector, most are cloistered in museums around the world, especially the Kremlin Armoury Museum in Moscow.
Certainly they are not sitting on a coffee table inside the home of a new-rich family.
There are several companies offering Faberge-style eggs, some of them quite expensive, even into the low thousands. And there's nothing wrong with that - as long as they're meant for an obscure shelf somewhere, or perhaps a child's bedroom.
But for prominent display? No, don't do that. Scandal and gossip is the only possible outcome.
Here's a link to images of the Imperial Eggs. Again, each and every one worth millions. Not a bad deal for something that comes out of a chicken's butt.
Thanks for dropping in,