Oprah Auctions Off Tons Of Memorabilia, Racks In $600K For Charity
The price of fame can net a variation of costs but when you're a celebrity as big as Oprah Winfrey, you can dictate what the receipts say.
Expectantly, the billionaire media personality had acquired a great deal of art, furniture and other nicks and knacks during her tenure into the world of television. And the saying goes, "one (wo)man's trash is another (wo)man's treasure," so like any logical star with too much stuff on her hands, Ms. Winfrey decided to have a yard sale for the ages.
Via LA Times:
The auction started around 11:30 a.m. with the first two items in the sale, canvas banners promoting Winfrey in "The Color Purple," fielding winning bids of $4,100 and $6,000. The exuberance -- irrational or otherwise -- built from there.
A 16-by-20-inch print of a TV Guide cover photo featuring Winfrey had a pre-auction estimate of $200 to $400 but ended up selling for $3,000. A pair of simple crystal lamp bases (no shades) estimated at $200 to $400 went for $2,500. Bidding on a painting estimated at $300 to $500 rose to $6,000, and a dog portrait generously characterized in the catalog as "folk art" went for $1,400 -- about three times its estimated value. Those prices do not include the buyer's premium, a 20% or 23% commission to the auction house paid on top of the winning bid.
A rudimentary chair that a fan painted for Oprah was estimated at only $100 to $200, yet bids rose to $1,000. A teapot worth less than $100 also sold for $1,000. One anonymous online buyer bought not one but two 13-foot-long sofas, upholstered in crushed velvet with roped fringe, with bids of $4,000 and $4,750.
Oprah's name association made the auction an instantaneous success. Kaminski Auctions were the auctioneer for the event. She made over half a million dollars just from a collection at her disposal. The biggest winner was the Louis XVI armchairs which bankrolled $60,000 or 10 percent of the total profit.
Never fear though, common people of Oprah's world. This was not a ploy to pad her bank account. All the proceeds are going to support her all-girl leadership academy in South Africa instead.
Included in the extensive gallery is a sample of the items that depict what it was like to live like Oprah. She's undoubtedly upped the ante in her home. Peruse the gallery at your leisure, if you will.
Photo: Kaminski Auctions