At West Loop auction of Oprah Winfrey’s stuff, a wastebasket goes for $313
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Only Oprah Winfrey could sell a paper wastebasket for more than $300.
To be precise, $313. That’s what it went for Saturday as artwork, furniture, designer glassware, clothing and even wastebaskets that once filled Winfrey’s Chicago home — 500 items in all — were sold in an auction Saturday in the West Loop to benefit the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy Foundation.
Curiosity led many to Leslie Hindman Auctioneers, which is near Winfrey’s soon-to-be closed Harpo Studios.
“We just want to get a glimpse into her life,” said Jessica McCarihan, 36, of Beverly.
Others were hoping to find something affordable to take home from amid all the Royal Copenhagen dishware, neoclassical pieces, early 19th century furniture and clothing that included Valentino skirts, Ralph Lauren coats and Donna Karan jackets and dresses.
“I was in the audience for one of her last shows,” said Rosemary Morgan, 56, who drove downtown from Crete with her daughter for the auction. “I’m definitely an Oprah fan. I’m just looking for something I might want — like some of the clothing being auctioned.”
The entire collection went for a total of nearly $800,000, the auctioneers said late Saturday. Many pieces sold above price. A Danish parcel gilt pine tall case clock sold for $8,750 — its estimated value is $5,000.
Rod Beltz, 48, was hoping to buy some glassware for himself and a designer purse for his girlfriend.
“Oprah is great,” said the Burr Ridge resident, who feels a strong personal connection to her. “My father remarried, and Oprah paid for her whole wedding and took them to Walt Disney World.” That was after his step-sister made a pitch. “She wrote a letter to Oprah. And she put them on her show and paid for the whole thing. We’ll never forget that.”
Many items went to online bidders, according to Hindman. She didn’t have to tell Beltz that.
“The Lalique items are great, but all of the online people are swooping them up. It’s tough,” Beltz said.
Veronica Palumbo was eyeing one of Winfrey’s many tea sets.
“I want a tea set, but I have a limit,” said Palumbo, 36, a Gold Coast resident. “I don’t want to pay $3,000, but I’ve got my eye on a couple of things.
“It’s my first auction,” she said. “I’ve never been. But it’s Oprah. How could you not?”
Eugenia Hardaway had her sights on a Bottega leather tote.
“It’s going to start at $300, but I can see that going and going and going and going,” the Beverly resident said.
Daron Poage, who drove up from Springfield with his wife Kate and their friends Wanda and Wayne Bloomfield, came away with what he was looking for.
“I won some Royal Copenhagen Flora Danica dinner and salad plates,” Poage said — at $12,500 for three sets.
“It’s a great set,” he said. “Of course, it is: It’s Oprah’s.”