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Fabergé transformed New York City into one large backyard last month with its Big Egg Hunt. Known famously for its ornate Imperial Easter Eggs, the jeweler oversaw 268 egg sculptures designed by artists, architects, photographers, and brands, including Jeff Koons, Julian Schnabel, Ralph Lauren, and Tommy Hilfiger; the sculptures were displayed throughout the five boroughs from April 1 to April 17.
The public was encouraged to participate via the Big Egg Hunt app, which revealed egg sightings across the city. The locations were hidden until 10 hunters found them and checked in, thereby “cracking it.” Once an egg was cracked, its location was made public and appeared on the digital map. Hunters who checked in were also entered into a sweepstakes to win one of three precious gemstone pendants created by Fabergé—the more check-ins, the better the odds of winning.
By the end of the first week, the top 10 egg hunters had already filled their virtual baskets with more than 200 of the 268 eggs on their own before the locations had been revealed, with some posting montage videos to Instagram of all their selfies. A total of 425,000 eggs were cracked throughout the course of the hunt.
A select group of the 2.5-foot eggs were sold during a live auction, produced by HL: Creative, on April 22 at Sotheby’s. Bidders raised $1.6 million, with all proceeds benefiting two charities—Studio in a School, a program that brings visual arts to New York City’s public schools, and Elephant Family, a conservation organization co-founded by Mark Shand, who passed away shortly after the event. The highest auction item was the piece created by Jeff Koons, which sold for $900,000. The remaining one-of-a-kind sculptures were sold through a corresponding online auction with Paddle8, which closed on April 26.
In 2012, the Fabergé Big Egg Hunt took place in London, set two Guinness World Record titles, and raised more than $1.5 million for charity.