The world’s most expensive piece of furniture isn’t a bed, a chair or even a couch—it’s a cabinet. Blurring the line between art and craft, the Badminton Cabinet is truly a unique item.
The Badminton Cabinet (or Badminton Chest) was commissioned by Henry Somerset, 3rd Duke of Beaufort, at the age of 19. It took thirty experts 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 descendents in the late 20th century.
The ebony cabinet is over 12 feet tall and features scenes rendered in pietre dure—the arrangement of finely cut, polished and colored stones. Among the inlaid stones are a number of semiprecious stones.The clock face set at the top of the cabinet is marked with fleurs-de-lis.
The Badminton Cabinet became the most expensive piece of furniture in the world when it was auctioned for $15.1 million in 1990 and retained its status when it was auctioned again in 2004, this time for $36.7 million.
Badminton Cabinet $36,700,000