Laying an egg

segueLaying an egg: Sorry, but first an old joke: How do you make a small fortune in magazine publishing? Answer: Start with a large fortune. The NY Times is reporting the Forbes family is selling the last pieces of its “legendary collection (of) nine Imperial Fabregé Easter eggs from Czarist Russia acquired over a lifetime by Malcolm Forbes” who died in 1990.

According to Reuters, a statement issued by the family explained, “The family has now decided it is time to make this unique treasure trove available to other collectors so they may have the thrill of owning a rare and exquisite work of Faberge…. Also, the sale will allow each of us to pursue our own individual interests, something our family has always valued.”

Malcolm Forbes lived large, for sure. And I’m sure he’d love seeing his Faberge eggs sold for close to $100 million so the kids can pursue their individual interests. Funding a presidential election or two, for example. Or, my personal favorite Forbes pursuit of recent memory, the CueCat.

Okay. I know the question you all have. Does the sale of this priceless collection (at last, we get to see how much “priceless” actually is) have anything to do with the advertising page free fall Forbes Magazine has experienced over the last three years? Of course not, Christopher Forbes tells the NY Times.


Also during the last three years Forbes Magazine, the family’s chief holding, has experienced a 50 percent drop in advertising pages. But Christopher Forbes said yesterday that the drop in company revenue was not the reason that he and his brothers and sister had decided to sell the last of the collection, including the Imperial eggs.

“We’re trying to make sure that the real jewel — Forbes and Forbes .com — stays within the family,” Mr. Forbes said. He added: “None of us are getting any younger. It was a great passion of Pop’s, and we have had a great time owning these objects.”

Wait, the official statement says the money is going to be used for individual pursuits…nothing about trying to hang onto the real family jewels. If they keep this up, they’re going to create one real small fortune.