In what was described as "an epic yard sale", the Saturday event went down in classic Oprah style: all for charity.
That seemed only to up the ante on what people were willing to spend. The Los Angeles Times noted that the Oprah touch sent prices on the most mundane items skyrocketing, simply because people wanted something that was Oprah’s – including a teapot expected to go for $100.
In the end, it had another zero attached to its price tag.
Other non-bargains, as reported by the Times:
• A set of six 18th-century Louis XVI armchairs with hand-embroidered details netted $60,000
• An enlarged print of a TV Guide photo of the TV host, with a $200-$400 estimate, went for $3,000
• Crystal lamp bases (described as “simple”), expected to fetch $200-$400, went instead for $2,500
• Two 13-ft. long sofas, upholstered in crushed velvet with roped fringe, collectively brought in $8,750
The treasures came from the 59-year-old media mogul’s homes in Hawaii, Indiana and California, with the auction taking place inside three tents on the polo grounds in Santa Barbara, Calif. All proceeds from the sale benefited Winfrey’s Leadership Academy for Girls in South Africa.
“I’ve been accumulating things since 1985,” Winfrey told Entertainment Tonight. “It’s just too much stuff. I talk about it a lot in [O] the magazine. We talk about decluttering. And I realized, I need to declutter my own life. It is very freeing. I am downsizing.”