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12-17-2004, 06:58 PM #1
Most Expensive Badminton Item Ever
Move over, IKEA: cabinet sells for record 19m pounds in London
Fri Dec 10, 7:13 AM ET
LONDON (AFP) - The Badminton Cabinet, heralded as the most important piece of furniture made in 300 years, is now the most expensive, too, selling for 19 million pounds at auction in London.
Prince Hans-Adam II of Liechtenstein, one of Europe's wealthiest royals, scooped up the heavily decorated and gilded wood cabinet at Christie's in a bidding race with three other eager collectors pushing up the final price.
His offer of 19,045,250 pounds was more than double the previous world record, also set for the same Badminton Cabinet when it was bought in 1990 by Barbara Johnson, heir to the Johnson and Johnson empire, for 8.5 million pounds, The Times reported Friday.
"Yet again the Badminton Cabinet has pushed the boundaries of the art market," said Charles Cator, chairman of Christie's UK.
The work, he said, "transcends the boundaries of furniture, combining architecture, sculpture and painting in pietre dure, resulting in a unique masterpiece."
The cabinet measures nearly 12 feet (3.7 metres) high and six feet (1.8 metres) wide, and could likely fit a dinner service for a hundred guests.
Thirty craftsmen in Florence worked on the commission in 1726, for Henry Somerset, Third Duke of Beaufort, and set its ebony exterior with intricate designs of flowers, fruit and birds.
Unlike its IKEA counterparts, it cannot be packed flat in a cardboard box and will likely require an aristocratic-sized room to house it.
It will remain in the Liechtenstein Museum the reigning prince opened in Vienna in March, in one of his family's two Baroque palaces in the Austrian capital.
Johan Kraeftner, the director of the museum who bid for the work in London, said the cabinet would be on permanent display from spring 2005.
12-17-2004, 07:01 PM #2
pardon me, but wat has that cabinet got to do with badminton?
12-17-2004, 08:15 PM #3Originally Posted by Arcos
12-17-2004, 08:27 PM #4Originally Posted by cooler
12-17-2004, 08:34 PM #5
The Badminton Cabinet was commissioned by Henry Somerset, the third duke of Beaufort, from the Grand-ducal Workshops in Florence in 1726. Unsurpassed in its richness and splendour, the cabinet is testimony to the young duke’s genius. He was only 19 at the time of the commission, so he made one of the greatest acts of patronage of the 18th century even before he had come of age.
It derives its name from Badminton House in Gloucestershire, the family residence of the Beaufort dukes. It shares the same origin as the popular sport of the same name.
The cabinet remained at Badminton until 1990.
12-17-2004, 08:47 PM #6
Very precise and concise. It sounds like you know everything "Badminton", kwun. Real pro.
Originally Posted by kwun
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