Fans Hysteria Does Its Bit To Raise $600,000 At Oprah Winfrey Charity
Oprah's personal collection of art, furniture, vehicles and other personal belongings were among the items sold
Oprah Winfrey has a dedicated fan base; those who would follow the media mogul through thick and thin and would do anything just to get a piece of the O. This weekend, Oprah hosted a charity auction in Carpinteria, California, (she wasn't there, she was just in charge of it) where a number of her personal items were sold off in the name of charity and as you can image, there was a hefty presence from her fan base..
Some of the items on offer were relatively luxurious and would have fetched a hefty price anyway - such as the set if 18th century handmade Louis XVI armchairs that brought in $60,000 - but as the Los Angeles Times points out, what made the auction such a success was the price that some of the minor items on sale were sold for.
In a true indication of fan obsession, the hysteria of the auction began to show immediately when the first two items to go to sale: two promotional banners for The Color Purple, sold for $4,100 and $6,000 respectively, and the irrational spending only got worse from here.
As fans chimed in online in a bid to get their hands on anything that may have been in one of the talk host's homes, the absurd final prices kept on mounting. A medium-sized (16"x 20") print of a TV Guide cover photo that features Winfrey on the front sold for $3,000, despite only having a pre-auction estimate of $200 to $400. A portrait of a dog that was expected to go for $300 to $500 ended up selling for three times that, finishing at $1,400. Later on, a teapot estimated at less than $100 ultimately sold for $1,000 and similarly outrageous offers were put in throughout the weekend.
The auctions were run by Kaminski Auctions at the Santa Barbara Polo & Racquet Club in Carpinteria and although a number of people had shown up to the event (probably in a vain bid to see Oprah), the sheer volume of those participating online meant the the pace of the auction was slowed down to that of a snail. Only 55 of 584 lots in the auction had been sold by the second hour and this rate of play went on for the rest of the day and into the evening, with the pace only picking up by the 6pm mark, around the time items belonging to Oprah's personal trainer Bob Greene were being auctioned off too. Needless to say they didn't create quite the hysteria as Oprah's dog portraits.
As initially reported, all proceeds of the event will go towards the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy Foundation College Fund, her female leadership academy based in South Africa. At the time of writing, the $600,000 total is only a first estimate, and the overall value of the auction won't be determined until later today (4 November).
The auction raise a pretty penny
Items cames from Oprah's homes in Montecito, Hawaii, Illinois and Indiana