A giant egg, possibly the largest in the world, laid in the early 17th century by the Great Elephant Bird of Madagascar will be one of the most extraordinary exhibits ever to appear for sale at the Antiques for Everyone fair at the NEC, Birmingham, U.K., which takes place during Easter week, from April 16-19, 2009.
Belonging to antique dealer John Shepherd from Kent, the egg is larger than any known egg, greater in size than a soccer ball, and is more than 350 years old. It is also larger than any other known egg, including dinosaur eggs.
The Elephant Bird (Aepyornis) was a flightless bird, larger than an ostrich at more than 10 feet tall; it weighed as much as half a ton, as contemporary accounts and bone fragments reveal. It became extinct in the mid 1600s, hunted out of existence by the inhabitants of Madagascar.
The egg will be on sale for more than $7,000. Says John: “I am delighted to be offering for sale such an unusual antique. Today, collectors and interior decorators eagerly seek elephant bird eggs. They are certainly a major talking point in any home!”
Antiques for Everyone is widely regarded as a major international event for connoisseurs, collectors and trade buyers. The fair features more than 350 dealers from the U.K., Europe and America and offers a huge range of exhibits to suit every pocket, from less than $15 to $150,000. It is a major forum and meeting place for the U.K. antiques trade.
Antiques for Everyone started in 1986. The fair is divided into two sections. Section One features a number of leading dealers with inspiring displays of town and country furniture, from the 17th to early 20th century, with all the accompanying decorative accessories, including upholstered furniture, mirrors and lighting. They are joined by dealers specializing in early fine silver, pottery, porcelain, glass, jewelry, textiles, arms and armor. In addition, around 30 galleries show traditional and contemporary paintings and sculpture.
Section Two offers around 250 dealers with a vast choice of collectible items. Specialities include large selections of Arts & Crafts, Art Nouveau and Art Deco ceramics, silver, lighting and furniture; Roman and Chinese antiquities, Steiff teddy bears, antiquarian maps and engravings, working barometers, tea caddies, early tin-plate toys, scientific instruments, garden statuary, kitchen antiques, decorative brass and copper, needlework samplers and chic costume jewelry.