Oprah Winfrey announced Wednesday that she was auctioning the contents of her 23,000-square-foot estate near Santa Barbara next month and donating the proceeds to her leadership academy for girls in South Africa.
The move isn't entirely a surprise. In the March issue of O the Oprah Magazine, Winfrey wrote in her typical first-person confessional style that she planned to remodel the Montecito mansion to better reflect her "true" self. The idea came after a visit from Los Angeles-based interior designer Rose Tarlow, who bluntly told Winfrey, "This house has nothing to do with you."
Winfrey went on to write: "The gilded mirrors, marble urns, the lavish carpets and sherbet palette — it was all very grand, but it wasn't very true to myself. And there you have it: That thing that had been missing from all the beautiful places I'd ever lived in was me!"
Winfrey then hired Tarlow to redecorate the home. Before she can do that, she must clean house. Kaminski Auctions will sell her furnishings and personal items Nov. 2 on the grounds of the Santa Barbara Polo and Racquet Club in Carpinteria. The auction also will include items from her Chicago apartment, her Indiana farm and her home on Maui.
What Oprah castoff might you take home? The auction lots will include hand-wrought iron panels from her staircase estimated at $4,000 to $7,000, a green and white plaid George Smith couch valued at $3,000 to $4,000, a Louis XVI chest valued at $30,000 to $50,000, and Louis XV armchairs in hand-embroidered yellow silk upholstery valued at $20,000 to $40,000.
The Winfrey collection also includes artworks by Allen Stringfellow, John Kramer and Clementine Hunter.
The public can preview the collection for free from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Oct. 30 through Nov. 1. Kaminski Auctions will host a special preview from 5 to 8 p.m. Nov. 1, for which tickets are $100. For seating at the auction, register for free tickets through Kaminski. Printed catalogs are $50 apiece, but Kaminski is expected to post all lots online by Friday.
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