Lockheed Lounge: Meet The World’s Most Expensive Object

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What about this chaise lounge makes it worth the equivalent of approximately ten middle-class suburban homes, or 5,000 Ikea couches? The Lockheed Lounge by Marc Newson set a record for the world’s most expensive design object created by a living person after it sold for more than £2 million (over $3 million USD at today’s exchange rate.)

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One prototype, four artist’s proofs and ten editions of the seat have been created since the Lockheed Lounge’s design in 1990, and it’s perhaps best known to people outside the design community for being prominently featured in Madonna’s 1993 video for the song ‘Rain.’ It’s this particular lounge that got snapped up for millions – over the phone, no less – when it recently went up for auction.

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The aircraft-inspired furniture design was an immediate success when an early version of it debuted at a Sydney gallery, and it’s been in demand among the world’s wealthiest design collectors ever since, especially since the shape was refined to become smoother and more free-flowing. It’s made of thin aluminum plates welded together and riveted from the inside. The core is made of fiberglass-reinforced plastic.

The sale cements Newson’s status as one of the world’s highest-grossing designers. His works collectively brought in over £8.5 million in April alone.