A man accused of stealing more than £700,000 worth of rare Faberge antiques today declared his name was Lee Harvey Oswald - the man who assassinated John F Kennedy.

Richard Tobin, 45, allegedly stole jewellery and trinkets made by the famous court of jewellers of Imperial Russia from Christie's auction house in London.

Walking into the dock at London's Southwark Crown Court with his white and green striped t-shirt tucked into his blue jeans, he began to shout at the judge.

Asked by the clerk if he was Richard Tobin, the diminutive Scotsman said: "No, I'm Lee Harvey Oswald."

Speaking in a thick Glaswegian accent, he added: "I'm named Patsy" and told the court "I want a cup of coffee".

Despite the bizarre rant, Judge Alistair McCreath said the case could proceed, telling the court: "The gentleman has informed us that he is Lee Harvey Oswald, but I don't think that's right somehow.

"I expect we can proceed on the basis he is Mr Tobin."

Tobin, 45, of no fixed abode, allegedly broke into Christie's in London on Sunday December 7 last year and stole opulent jewellery and carvings made by the famous jewellers.

He allegedly swiped a three coloured, jewelled gold Faberge clock, worth £125,000 and made in St Petersburg, Russia in 1899.

It is also alleged he took a Faberge Jasmine flower silver gilt, worth £550,000, a gold and silver aquamarine necklace from 1900 and worth £35,000.

He also took a Faberge carved bulldog and a carved cockerel worth £25,000 each and rings worth £20,000, the court heard.

He also allegedly took silver cutlery costing £2,500 and 200 US dollars in cash from a drawer in the office at the auction house's headquarters in King Street near Piccadilly.

Tobin is also charged with breaking into the offices of financial firm Muzinich & Co, in Hanover Street, Mayfair, two nights earlier and stealing a rucksack and a pair of headphones worth £200.

He is charged with two counts of burglary.

He indicated a not guilty plea and was remanded in custody to appear at Southwark Crown Court on April 2 for a plea and case management hearing.

The House of Faberge was founded in 1842 in St Petersburg and is most famous for designing opulent, jewel-encrusted eggs for the Russian Tsars.

The firm was nationalised in 1918 after the Bolsheviks swept to power, and fearing for his life the company's head, Peter Carl Faberge, fled the country.