How High is High End?
Ray Allegrezza -- Furniture Today, April 20, 2013
In putting together this special report on high-end furniture, one thing became increasingly apparent: there is no one definition for luxury. Like beauty, it appears to be firmly in the eye of the beholder.
With that realization before us, we began to wonder if we could find an absolute in terms of the most expensive piece of furniture ever sold.
Thanks to an online source, The Most Expensive Journal, we did. It appears that the world's most expensive piece of furniture is the Badminton Cabinet, commissioned in 1726 by Henry Somerset, 3rd Duke of Beaufort, England.
According to the Journal, the lavish piece took 30 craftsmen six years to create and is named after the Duke's seat of power, Badminton House in Gloucestershire, where it sat until it was auctioned by his descendants in the late 20th century.
The striking ebony cabinet stands more than 12 feet tall and features scenes rendered in pietre dure - the arrangement of finely cut, polished and colored stones.
It was first auctioned in 1990 when it was sold to Barbara Piasecka Johnson, heiress to the Johnson and Johnson fortune.
In 2004, it went to auction and Christie's sold it to the Prince of Liechtenstein for $36.7 million.