I like my furniture "just functional" and cheap. Fortunately for Christie's, other people have more refined tastes. The London-based auction house recently sold one of the ten most expensive pieces of furniture ever - the Paris-built Cucci Cabinet from the 17th century - for a staggering £4,521,250. Ka-ching!
Estimated to have been produced between 1665 to 1675, the opulent home storage fixture is one of very few surviving cabinets executed at the Royal Gobelins workshops. Believed to have been given as a gift to Queen Hedvig Eleonora of Sweden, it's one of only three wooden compartments crafted by Italian master Domenico Cucci.
The Cucci Cabinet is an intricate masterpiece that features Florentine “pietra dura” plaques, figurative carvings, gilt bronze mounts and a seriously ridiculous amount of detail. According to Christie's, the auction attracted particularly wide interest, getting contingents of collectors, dealers and institutions from all around the world to bid on it.
While it definitely sold at an astronomical price (and is now listed as one of the ten all-time most expensive articles of furniture), the cabinet barely touched on the highest-priced piece of traditional home furnishing ever - the Badminton Cabinet. Sold in 2004, that creation from the Grand Ducal workshops ended its auction run at a downright insane £19.1 million.
Among the hopefuls who tried to acquire it, an anonymous buyer over the phone managed to secure the Cucci Cabinet. That anonymous buyer was me.
Or I wish!