Luxurious expensive furniture is carefully selected to decorate the homes of millionaires and billionaires. The luxury furniture market has experienced a 4% increase in the last five years, as the rich and famous invest in high-quality furniture pieces, during a period of tremendous economic growth. The domestic market doubles the commercial furniture market, because the big dollars are spent for home comfort. In a commercial environment the bottom-line usually trumps luxury.
Antiques Rule the Luxury Furniture Market
It’s equally important for high-end customers to have high design pieces. They want a clear design focus for their spaces and typically hire professional interior designers. Now everyone wants a home worthy of a spread in the best home design magazines. Some individuals prefer more modern furniture options, while others lean towards antique pieces. Antiques are highly sought after and can fetch incredible prices at auction.
The furniture pieces that sell for the most at auction typically have a few things in common. The pieces are most often antique, wood, handcrafted by master designers and furniture makers, and are extremely high quality with luxurious accents like gems. Christie’s in the United Kingdom and Sotheby’s in the United States are widely trusted and used among the rich to auction valuable antique pieces. Antiques collectors will often jump at the chance to own these once-in-a-lifetime pieces, driving the prices up to amazing heights.
Let’s look into the 6 most expensive furniture pieces ever sold
1. $36.7 Million – The Badminton Cabinet
This Badminton Cabinet has beat the record for the most expensive furniture sale, not once but twice! The Cabinet was preserved and protected by the original owner’s descendants for almost 300 years before it was placed up for auction the first time in 1999. It sold for $26.2 Million in 1999 and then beat the record again, selling for $36.7 Million in 2004. Originally commissioned by Henry Somerset, the 3rd Duke of Beaufort in 1726. Over 30 master cabinet and furniture makers worked on the pieces for six years. The Cabinet was made in Florence, before residing in Gloucestershire for nearly 300 years. It can now be found in the Liechtenstein Museum for visitors to view the beautiful precious stones, fleur-de-lis, and coat of arms.
2. $26.6 Million – The ‘Dragons’ Armchair
This piece shocked the antique market when it sold for $26.6 Million in 2009. The ‘Dragons’ Armchair was originally listed for auction for $2.3 Million but amid a collector rush, the price was pushed up before Cheska Vallois won. The Armchair was designed by Eileen Gray and completed between 1917 to 1919. This makes the ‘Dragons’ Armchair the most expensive piece of 20th century art, at this time. The chair is upholstered in luxurious brown leather and with a singular piece of wood, providing the frame. This lacquered frame was sculpted into the flowing bodies of two dragons, whose black eyes sit at the arm-rest position.
3. $11.4 Million – The Antique Secretary Desk
This astounding antique sold in 1989 for $11.4 Million. Originally built by Gooddard and Townsend, master cabinet and desk makers, in the 1760s. Only 9 of these secretary desks were created. In 1989, this piece set the record for the most expensive piece of American made furniture ever sold. The Quaker designers were well-known for designing cabinets with unique carved shell designs. This Secretary Desk, even in the 1760s, was built to provide function and form, while showcasing great wealth.
4. $5 Million – The Harrington Commode
The Harrington Commode is a chest of drawers built in the 18th century. While the designer, Thomas Chippendale, is well-revered and his pieces garner great interest and prices whenever they come on the market, this $5 Million dollar sale places it in the top five most expensive pieces of furniture. This Commode is the most expensive piece of English-made furniture. The Commode was crafted with rosewood and tulipwood and is an excellent example of Chippendale’s neoclassical pieces.
5. $4.6 Million – The Tufft Table
The Tufft Table is a beautifully crafted table in the Rococo style of the early 18th century. This style is especially recognized by it’s ornate lightness and curving forms. The table is named after its designer, Thomas Tufft, who hand-carved the piece around 1775. The Tufft Table was commissioned by Richard Edwards of New Jersey. The table has an intricate carved framework.
6. $3.9 Million – The George II Parcel Gilt Padauk Cabinet
Thomas Chippendale is the only designer to show up twice on this list. In 2008, the George II Parcel Gilt Padauk Cabinet sold for $3.9 million at a Sotheby’s auction. The cabinet is set on an intricate stand and features beautiful gold pagoda canopies. Padauk is a type of luxurious wood from the Pterocarpus tree found in central and west Africa. The wood was selected for its durability and beautiful red color, which transitions to purple-brown with age.
Antiques On Display
These amazing top 6 most expensive pieces of furniture truly showcase how expert craftsmanship and high-quality pieces are highly desired. Auctioneers have been pleasantly surprised by the continued interest in these costly pieces, seeing final bids eclipse the expected prices. Many of these pieces have stood the test of time and been kept in excellent shape. Owners of high-quality antique pieces often display them proudly as centerpieces in their homes, showcasing wealth and status.