The Most Expensive Piece of Furniture Ever Sold Is Imaginatively Recreated

Elemental Cabinet, a unique 2017 work by Kostas Lambridis.

Thirty-six million dollars. That’s roughly how much the 18th-century Badminton cabinet fetched at Christie’s in 2004, making it the most expensive piece of furniture ever sold—and an enduring source of fascination for 29-year-old designer Kostas Lambridis. “It communicates the wealth, elitism, and aristocracy of its time,” reflects the rising star, who riffed on the cabinet for his 2017 graduation project at Design Academy Eindhoven. Traveling to Vienna’s Liechtenstein Garden Palace, where the piece is now exhibited, Lambridis made a 3-D scan of the original, then created his replica with materials arranged according to weight. Moving up from the base, hunks of concrete, stone, and ceramic give way to wood and plastic. The cabinet’s famous clock, meanwhile, is reconstructed in textiles and recycled electronics. Says Lambridis, reflecting on his materials palette: “I tried to follow a non-hierarchical approach.” kostaslambridiom

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