On 15 April Christie's will auction the most important collection of Faberge items to have come on the market for 30 years. The most famous of all Russian jewellers, the Faberge family and their employees worked extensively for the Russian imperial family in the late-19th and early 20th century.

The collection at Christie's comprises 160 items and was formed by His Excellency William Kazan, a native of Beirut, whose family originally hailed from central Russia. The star of the sale is the Pine Cone Easter Egg which has an estimated value of $3.5m to $4.5m. The four-inch egg is decorated with blue enamel and festoons of rose-cut diamonds. It opens up to reveal a mahout riding on an elephant which walks along when wound up.

The sale also contains two pieces which belonged to the imperial family. One is a gem-set portrait miniature of the Grand Duchess Elizabeth Feodorovna (estimate $8,000 to $10,000). The other is a gold and enamel brooch in a presentation case which records that it was a gift from Nicholas II's mother, Maria Feodorovna ($12,000 to $16,000). The latter belonged, for a time, to Elton John.