England’s long and storied history has produced one of the most widely spoken languages in the world, various masterful literary works and some equally masterful pieces of furniture.
The Harrington Commode—no, not that kind of commode; it’s a chest of drawers—broke a record for English furniture when it was sold at a Sotheby’s in London auction in late 2010. The chest is thought to have been crafted around 1770 by London cabinet maker Thomas Chippendale, whose Rococo and Neoclassical works informed the style of the period. The most expensive piece of English furniture is made of gilt-lacquered fustic, rosewood and tulipwood mounted with brass.
The chest sold for £3,793,250—just under US $6 million. That’s ove three times its estimate and £1 million more than the holder of the previous record, another of Chippendale’s works.