Dezeen Magazine

Marc Newson's Lockheed Lounge sets new record at auction

The Lockheed Lounge by Australian designer Marc Newson has retained its title as the world's most expensive design object, after selling for more than £2 million.

Newson's riveted aluminium and fiberglass chaise longue fetched £2,434,500 during a sale at auction house Phillips in London last night.

This surpasses the £1.4 million raised by a prototype of the design when sold by the same auctioneers in 2010, when it first became the most expensive object sold by a living designer.

"We are proud to have set, yet again, the auction record for Marc Newson, one of the most influential designers of the last quarter century," said Alexander Payne, worldwide head of design at Phillips.

Designed in 1990, the Lockheed Lounge is one of Newson's most famous early works. It gained international fame when Madonna was seen reclining on it in the music video for her 1993 track Rain.

Ten editions of the seat were created, along with four artist's proofs and one prototype. The edition put up for auction by Phillips was estimated to fetch between £1.5 million and £2.5 million, and was eventually sold to an anonymous telephone bidder.

The chaise longue is formed from thin plates of aluminium welded side by side, with rivets beside the seams. The metal curves around a body made from fibreglass-reinforced plastic and the feet of its three legs are coated in rubber.

Lockheed Lounge by Marc Newson

An early version of the seat, named LC1, was displayed at Newson's first exhibition Seating for Six at Sydney's Roslyn Oxley Gallery in 1986.

Over the next two years, he refined the form to create the Lockheed Lounge – named after an American aerospace company.

Last night's auction at 30 Berkley Square included 56 items, with works by Gio Ponti, Kaare Klint, Le Corbusier and Pierre Jenneret and Charlotte Perriand among those on offer. The second-highest price tag of £602,500 was gained by Jean Prouvé's 6x9 demountable house.

The auction brought Phillip's sales total for design items to £8,641,000 in April alone.

"Very strong results were achieved for Shiro Kuramata, Gio Ponti, Diego Giacometti, Jean Royère and Joe Colombo, the sale attracted determined international bidding for the masters of 20th-century design," said Payne.

Newson, who began working with Apple last year, has tried his hand at designing nearly everything – recent projects range from a Japanese sword and a shotgun to a pen and a draft beer machine.