10 Most Expensive Couches Ever Sold

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“Sofa” comes from the Arabic word “suffah,” which essentially means bench. Ancient Egypt was one of the first societies to create sofas, but they were mostly reserved for the rich and powerful.

Over time, new versions of the sofa were developed across the globe. By the 16th century, craftspeople in Europe were making more modern sofas designed for the up-and-coming trend of weather-proof housing.

Eventually, “couch” became America’s preferred term for bench-like plush seats. The term is likely a descendant of the French word “couche,” although historical translations vary.

Couches have a huge price range, and some are wildly expensive. Learn more about the most expensive couches in the world with this top 10 list!

10. The Nickel Couch by Johnny Swing

Couch Value: $138,600
Designer/Maker: Johnny Swing
Interesting Feature: Welded designer signature
Couch Fact: This couch is made of nickels
The Nickel Couch by Johnny Swing
photo source: johnnyswing.com

Johnny Swing is an American designer, welder, and artist known for his furniture made of welded coins. The designer’s “Nickel Couch” from 2000 consists of welded nickels on a stainless steel frame, complete with Swing’s signature welded onto the piece.

The unique couch was later sold by Sotheby’s auction house for more than $130,000, making it one of the most expensive couches in the world.

Did you know?

Johnny Swing also made the “Quarter Lounge,” and it’s exactly what you’d expect. The welded metal lounge was made using quarters and stainless steel. Swing made ten “Quarter Lounges,” and Sotheby’s sold one for nearly $100,000.

9. The Molesworth Sofa

Couch Value: $176,400
Designer/Maker: Thomas Molesworth
Interesting Feature: Chimayo wool weaving
Couch Fact: This couch was commissioned by Katherine Romer
The Molesworth Sofa
photo source: sothebys.com

The furniture of Thomas Molesworth epitomizes the American West. The designer crafted his work in Wyoming from 1931 to 1961, offering high-quality furniture to wealthy clients. Around 1940, one Katherine Romer of Montana commissioned a two-seater sofa from Molesworth. The final product featured leather upholstery, beautifully done Chimayo wool weaving, and brass tacks.

Decades later, Sotheby’s auction house sold Moleswroth’s sofa for more than $170,000, making it the ninth most expensive couch in the world. 

Did you know?

Other examples of Thomas Molesworth’s furniture have sold at auction for thousands of dollars, including a set of club chairs that went for over 93 grand.

8. The ONYX Sofa

Couch Value: $185,585
Designer/Maker: Peugeot Design Lab
Interesting Feature: Volcanic lava stone
Couch Fact: This couch is three meters long (about 10 feet)
The ONYX Sofa
photo source: dotwnews.com

Who says couches have to be comfortable? Not Peugeot Design Lab! In 2014, the company unveiled a striking sofa made of carbon fiber and a volcanic lava stone. The eye-catching couch was titled “The ONYX Sofa” — and it’s worth about $185,000.

This isn’t the first time Peugeot has dabbled in unique designs. The company also made “The ONYX Chandelier,” a light fixture featuring wood from an Indonesian banyan tree designed as part of Peugeot’s custom furniture series.

Banyan trees are considered sacred in cultures across the Asia-Pacific region.

Did you know?

According to reports, the volcanic lava stone featured on this couch is 11,000 years old.

7. The Couch From Kersey Coates Reed House

Couch Value: $189,000
Designer/Maker: Jean-Michel Frank
Interesting Feature: Hermès leather upholstery
Couch Fact: This couch was made sometime around 1930
The Couch From Kersey Coates Reed House
photo source: sothebys.com

Frances Elkins was an influential interior designer during the Art Deco movement of the 20th century. One of Elkins’s commissions included the Kersey Coates Reed House, a mansion in Lake Forest, Illinois. Elkins included a couch designed by Jean-Michel Frank in the home’s library.

The couch later sold for nearly $190,000. Experts say it’s so valuable because Elkins and Frank are among the most important designers of the 20th century.

Did you know?

The Kersey Coates Reed House is a Georgian-style mansion. The sprawling home was built during the early 1930s as a retreat from the busyness of downtown Chicago. Today, the house is valued at more than $20 million.

6. The Sofa and Side Table by Pierre Chareau

Couch Value: $478,800
Designer/Maker: Pierre Chareau
Interesting Feature: Built-in adjustable side table
Couch Fact: The sides of this couch are walnut
The Sofa and Side Table by Pierre Chareau
photo source: sothebys.com

Pierre Chareau was a French architect and designer of the early 20th century. Chareau often developed luxury furniture and interiors for France’s wealthiest clients.

Experts say the craftsman’s characteristic style is on full display within this couch, “The present sofa and side table are a prime example of Pierre Chareau’s pioneering design language.”

Sotheby’s sold this rare sofa for nearly half a million dollars, making it the world’s sixth most expensive couch.

Did you know?

Pierre Chareau passed away in 1950. Commissions declined during his later years, so the designer earned money by selling parts of his modern art collection, including work by Picasso.

5. The Ours Polaire Sofa

Couch Value: $746,000
Designer/Maker: Jean Royère
Interesting Feature: Oak details
Couch Fact: Only about 300 “Ours Polaire” sofas were made
The Ours Polaire Sofa
photo source: sothebys.com

Jean Royère was a French designer of the mid-20th century. Between 1947 and ‘67, Royère created a series of made-to-order sofas and chairs. Clients could either buy two chairs and a sofa, or individual sofas and chairs.

All the furniture was limited-edition, and estimates say only about 300 couches were made in total.

Decades later, Sotheby’s sold one of those rare couches for $746,000, making it the fifth most expensive couch in the world.

Did you know?

Jean Royère was born in 1902. The Royère family was wealthy, and Jean went on to apprentice with Pierre Gouff, a cabinetmaker. Royère continued on a path of design and won the opportunity to craft a restaurant for the Hotel Carlton, kickstarting his career.

4. The Ambassador Sofa

Couch Value: $927,500
Designer/Maker: Jean Royère
Interesting Feature: Velvet upholstery
Couch Fact: This couch was designed in 1955
The Ambassador Sofa
photo source: sothebys.com

Up next is another couch designed by Jean Royère. This time it’s a 1955 sofa made for the Ambassador Hotel in Jerusalem. Royère had a thriving business in the Middle East, with clients including King Farouk of Egypt and the Shah of Iran.

Royère’s contribution to the Ambassador Hotel was yet another addition to his Middle Eastern furniture portfolio.

In 2021, Sotheby’s auction house sold items from the art and design collection of Peter M. Brant and Stephanie Seymour. Among those items was the Ambassador Sofa, which went for nearly one million dollars.

Did you know?

This couch is made of oak and velvet upholstery.

3. Prototype D Sofa

Couch Value: £1,232,500 (about $1.5 million)
Designer/Maker: Ron Arad
Interesting Feature: Hand-painted steel
Couch Fact: This is one of three “D Sofa” prototypes
Prototype D Sofa
photo source: phillips.com

Ron Arad is a designer known for his unique approach to form. Starting in 1993, the creative craftsman began developing the “D Sofa,” a sculptural steel design created in partnership between Arad and his studio assistants.

Unlike many designers, Arad started creating the “D Sofa” spontaneously. No design drawings provided guidelines, so the designer and his team crafted the object based on available materials and in-the-moment creative decisions.

In June 2021, Phillips auction house sold one of Arad’s three “D Sofa” prototypes for about $1.5 million, making it the world’s third most expensive couch.

Did you know?

Christie’s auction house sold another “D Sofa” in 2008 for just over $200,000.

2. The High-Waisted Huanghuali Luohan Chuang (16th-17th Century)

Couch Value: 14,520,000 HKD (about $1.8 million)
Designer/Maker: Unknown
Interesting Feature: Kui dragon medallion carving
Couch Fact: This couch is made of rosewood
The High-Waisted Huanghuali Luohan Chuang
photo source: sothebys.com

A collector discovered this couch in Hong Kong. It sat disassembled in a storage facility, and the collector had an expert analyze the pieces to confirm their authenticity. The expert said the couch was legit. In fact, the luohan chuang (meaning couch bed) turned out to be a unique example of wood craftsmanship from the late Ming dynasty (16th-17th century).

As you’d expect, the collector quickly purchased the rare item.

Several years later, the couch made its way to Sotheby’s “Important Chinese Art” auction where it sold for about $1.8 million, making it the world’s second most expensive couch.

Did you know?

The Chinese word “huanghuali” means “yellow flowering pear wood.”

1. The Huanghuali Couch Bed

Couch Value: 23,480,000 HKD (about $2.9 million)
Designer/Maker: Unknown
Interesting Feature: Rare huanghuali wood from the Ming dynasty
Couch Fact: This couch has “low hoof feet”
The Huanghuali Couch Bed
photo source: sothebys.com

The Huanghuali Couch Bed is the most expensive couch in the world.

This rare couch bed from the late Ming dynasty of China is valued at nearly $3 million. The well-preserved design is made of huanghuali wood, a rarity among couch beds of the era.

Experts at Sotheby’s auction house say the couch is “extremely rare” and is “a superb example of excellent modeling and elegant proportions.” Sotheby’s sold the couch as part of its “Ming Furniture” auction.

Did you know?

The Ming dynasty of China lasted from 1368 to 1644. The era was defined by China’s significant political and cultural influence on nearby regions.


Head of Content at Rarest.org


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