Lily Safra's $45 Million Yard Sale
Safra Cleans Out Her Many Closets
Lily Safra is the kind of lady who can blow her nose into dollar bills. In fact, the woman has so much money that when she decided to clear out some her unwanted clutter, her knick-knacks brought in $45.9 million at a Sotheby's auction.
Safra, who is worth a whopping $1.2 billion, and is ranked the 701st richest person in the world, amassed a fortune from her first two tycoon husbands. She became a billionaire in 1999 after her third husband, Brazilian billionaire banker Edmond Safra, died in a fire at their Monaco apartment.
Since Edmond's death, Safra has been focusing on creating a philanthropic legacy. As Forbes reports, this week, the 73-year-old socialite held her own version of a yard sale, and auctioned 800 lots of her European furniture and paintings. She hoped that her cast-offs would "inspire new collectors."
Among some of the items for sale was a $614,500 German ivory cup and cover, a $1,258,500 Louis XIV mantel clock, a $1,426,500 pair of Louis XV carved porphyry lidded vases, a $6,914,500 Japanese commode, and a $950,500 Burghley Epergne. Hardly items that we'll be expecting from Santa this year.
Still, at least the profits are likely to go to a deserving charity, as Safra isn't tight-fisted with her wealth. Just to name one of her recent donations, in July 2010, Safra donated 8 million Euros to the Institute for Brain and Spinal Cord Injuries. She is also on the board of the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's research.