Sofas in the headlines

11-01-2010 18:29 (0 comments)

“How much would any reasonable person pay for a sofa?”

“How much would any reasonable person pay for a sofa?” That was the question posed by Kirsty Mcallister in an  piece from 13th October 2009.

Headlined “The Crazy Amount of Money People Pay For Sofas”, the article started out with a perfectly reasonable point. Quality, style and comfort don’t come cheap and most people are prepared to open their wallets once they find what they want.

Then there are those people who can afford to spend large sums on famous sofas. The sums of money some buyers splash out are in a different league to the rest of us. Not surprisingly, their purchases are eye-catching, from “over £2000 for a sofa once sat on by Edward 7th and Mrs Simpson or £25,000 to £50,000 for one of the five art installations created by Salvador Dali, the Mae West sofas”.

Of course our celebrity culture means stars of TV, sport, music and films are often seen getting in on the act. The sofas where they park their derrieres eventually emerge during charity auctions. In 2007 an auction held by the Osbornes included the sofa sat on by Ozzy during the MTV television series. A pair of sofas owned by Take That crooner Gary Barlow went for £2500.

Then there are others who need to buy before they can sell. The list includes Coleen Rooney, who “so loved crystals that she reportedly paid over £10,000 for a bespoke crystal encrusted sofa”. More recently, advised its readers not to “expect Susan Boyle to be blowing the £5 million she's expected to make from I Dreamed A Dream on diamonds or fancy clothes”. Instead, “Scottish singer has celebrated her chart success by splashing out on a new fridge and sofa”. “You've got to keep your house looking nice, haven't you?”, reasoned Boyle.

Some famous TV sofas deserve a mention too. There are a few we grew so use to seeing that their absence leaves a gaping hole in popular culture: the sofas in Big Brother, Friends and the Richard Madeley – Judy Finnigan version of This Morning spring to mind.

Big Brother sofas “are always much admired and keenly anticipated and very often these are auctioned off to the viewing public”. You imagine that there are people who could run their own themed BB parties or events using the show’s sofas as a focal point.

The 15th anniversary of Friends included the opening of a replica Central Perk in London. “Fitted out like the original in the television show the replica includes the famous orange sofa sat on by Rachel, Ross, Chandler, Joey, Phoebe and Monica. People have queued for hours to have their photograph taken sitting on the famous sofa”. And it was still just a replica, which says something about the show’s and the sofa’s appeal. Mcallister quite legitimately wonders “how much the original sofa would fetch if it was ever auctioned”.

The sofa set up was such a success for Richard Madeley and Judy Finnigan that they kept it even when they moved to an early evening slot on Channel 4 and then to a satellite station. (Somehow it just didn’t feel the same once they went to an early evening slot and eventual satellite obscurity, but that’s another story)

Whether it’s fit for a king or just your average place for twenty-somethings to hang out on, you can be sure sofas will continue to make the headlines.


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