A recently-discovered rare Faberge egg was sold for a record of nearly nine million pounds (12.5 million euros, 18.5 million dollars) Wednesday, auction house Christie's in London said.
The egg was made in 1902 by Peter Carl Faberge for the Rothschild banking family and contains a diamond-encrusted cockerel which pops out every hour to flap its wings and nod its head while crowing.
The prized object was snapped up by a Russian buyer, who was in the auction room, but who was not identified. He paid 8,980,500 pounds 12.6 million euros, 18.5 million dollars).
"It's fantastic. It has broken the previous record by some two million pounds," Anthony Philips, Russian art specialist at Christie's.
The previous record for a Russian object was established when The Faberge Winter Egg sold at Christie's in New York in April 2002 for 6,620,249 pounds.
One of only three known examples featuring a clock and a mechanical figure, the Rothschild egg is unusually large and is enamelled in pink with gold detailing.
Faberge, a Russian jeweller whose name is synonymous with extravagant craftsmanship, made 50 eggs for the Russian royal family but is only known to have created 12 eggs to similar standards for private clients.
The Rothschild egg was auctioned as part of a week of Russian art sales at Christie's which have attracted a wave of big bucks bids from wealthy Russian business people in London.