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The plot idea for the Fabergé auction originates from Ian Fleming's 1963 short story, "Property of a Lady".. Published in "Octopussy and the Living Daylights" (1966), Fleming's hard-warn spy is on the tail of a KGB officer who bids over the mark for an already costly Fabergé Egg in order to pay off an internal agent, Maria Freudenstein, who is feeding them cipher codes.
In the film adaptation 007 bids on the Fabergé Egg to force the villainous Kamal Khan into bidding higher to retrieve what believes is a genuine, priceless Fabergé Egg. In reality, 007 swaps the egg with a fake at the auction house, poaching the real egg and letting Kahn go away with a worthless trinket, bugged with a listening device. Bond travels to India in pursuit of Kahn and his forgers, using the real Fabergé (which Kamal thinks is the fake) as a bargaining chip. The forgers reclaim the egg from 007, thanks to the feminine charm of Magda, and Bond is captured. Kahn's counterpart, a Russian officer, General Orlov, seals the fate of the cursed Egg, crushing it with the butt of his pistol.
The title of the story, and indeed the plot, had long been speculated to become the premise for the next in the long line of Bond pictures after "For Your Eyes Only" wrapped. Yet it wasn't until Michael G. Wilson, screenwriter of 1983's "Octopussy", snapped up the idea to include in the script. While the title "The Property Of A Lady" is yet to be used, the movie version of Octopussy weaves in the plot of the short story as well as several of Fleming's other works. The Property of A Lady was rumored to be the title of the ultimately unproduced third film to star Timothy Dalton in 1991.
The prop egg used by the 1983 filmmakers is not a true Fabergé design, but is in the style of the Imperial Coronation Egg, which Fabergé gifted to Tsar Nicholas II in 1897. The James Bond prop has been replicated for sale and from time to time copies appear on the internet, ranging between $300 and $600 US.