In Dec. 2004, Christie's broke its own record for the highest price ever paid for a decorative work at auction by selling the Badminton Cabinet to the reigning Prince of Liechtenstein as an offering for the Liechtenstein Museum in Vienna. The hammer came down on £19,045,250—or $36,662,106 at the time—more than twice what it sold for in July 1990, when it first set the bar for furnishings sold at auction. Why the astronomical price tag? For one, the one-of-a-kind Florentine cabinet took more than a decade to craft by hand (1720 to 1732) from ebony, gilt-bronze, and inlaid stones such as lapis lazuli, agate, red and green Sicilian jasper, and amethyst quartz. The results is utterly spectacular, as are many other high-priced furnishings and decor to hit the auction block within the last decade or so. Above: 15 beautifully crafted items to sell for millions, all at the sound of a gavel.
· All Whale Week 2013 posts [Curbed National]