Santa Barbara has a way of grabbing headlines, and this last week has been no exception with all the press and hullabaloo in and around what the locals are calling The Oprah Yard Sale (the Kaminski Auctions billed it as “The Oprah Winfrey Collection”).
Whatever you call it, it was fun for us, and the proceeds benefit The Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy Foundation College Fund. The fund is dedicated to helping all graduates from The Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls – South Africa.
This isn’t the first time Oprah has sold her personal items, seems she took to heart the cover on her namesake O Magazine a few years back that heralded, “De-Clutter Your Life!”
The first sale was dubbed “O’s Great Closet Cleanout” by the press, but with today’s technology, Oprah tweeted her own advertisement to her followers, “I’m having the biggest yard sale ever!”
With a celebrity client like Oprah, Kaminski Auctions has been jettisoned to the forefront of the American psyche, if only for a few days. Oprah toured the goods with CBS News, Entertainment Tonight, and the story was, and is still being reported in almost every major newspaper and news broadcast.
In a recent O Magazine article, Oprah says, “I am evolving [and] my taste is too”. She said that “the gilded mirrors, marble urns, the lavish carpets and sherbet palette – it was all very grand, but it wasn’t very true to myself,” Concluding, “the thing that had been missing from all the beautiful places I’d ever lived in, was me!”
Seems she’ll be giving the whole 23,000-sq. ft., $85 million Montecito mansion a facelift.
Originally decorated by the late decorator Anthony P. Browne, a onetime rock-and-roll manager turned interior designer, O has passed the baton to west coast based Rose Tarlow to restyle. Tarlow commented that the houses contents don’t “have anything to do with” the mogul. Well, we can’t wait to see what you do with the place, Rose.
“All I can tell you is that I’m evolving, my taste is, too, and someday soon this room will represent the person I’ve become.”
On Friday night the members of the Santa Barbara Polo Club were invited to a VIP party to view the “collection” As we waited for the valet to take our car, a shiny black Cadillac Escalade cut line and sped past us, only to be waived through by the head valet.
“Oprah’s here”, I joked with my car mates.
“Hummm…” I thought, Will be fun to see the old girl.
She made her way very slowly to the center of the tent, where we were entertained by a chorus under the direction of Santa Barbara acting and vocal coach, Janet Adderley. The program began with the children singing the theme song from Oprah’s movie, The Color Purple, and Oprah sang along, clapping her hands and dancing to the music. She and the crowd were obviously delighted.
After the performance, Oprah loved the kids and mugged in photos with them and gave them encouragement to continue in their singing.
Oprah was then summoned to the stage by the emcee where she shared with the guests her vision for her School of Leadership in Africa, how the girls were selected, a little bit about where and how the girls lived before coming to the academy.
She told the crowd: “We have 76-77 girls graduating and going to college every year. If anyone has ever put a child thru college, then you know why I’m selling the sofa”
Above: A set of six 18th Century Louis XVI armchairs with hand-embroidered fabric and carved details elicited, had a pre-auction estimate of $20,000-40,000, but claimed a winning bid of $60,000.
Above: But, a beautiful 18th Century Louis XVI paint cabinet with a pre-auction estimated of $15,000-$25,000, sold for just $8,500.
One of the biggest surprises was the sale of a painting by M. Burroughs, titled Cubist Women, which was inscribed “To Miss Oprah Winfrey Herself”. This painting had pre-auction estimates of $200-$400, but sold for $13,000.
Above: An 18th Century Louis XVI bureau, stamped Boudin, ormolu mounted and inlaid with kingwood and tulipwood, was estimated at $30,000-50,000, sold for just $21,000.
Above: Brand new Jetson electric bikes (retail price new $1995), never ridden, but autographed for this auction by Oprah, sold for $5,450.
An “Enlarged photograph of Oprah Winfrey”, mounted on foam core, autographed, and estimated at $350-$450, sold for $1,200… on foam core, not even framed!
A “Portrait” (photograph) of Oprah Winfrey, (a copy of) the original photograph produced for the book, The Autobiography of Oprah Winfrey, had a pre-auction estimate of $300-$500, and sold for $1,500.
Note: Prices above do not include the Buyer’s Premium (commission to the auction house paid on top of the winning bid) of 20% for those in attendance and 23% for those bidding on the internet.
Thank you Oprah for a great weekend!
Good night moon
Source: A Design Guy