Bourdain’s custom-made knife, photo courtesy of Lark Mason Associates
More than a year since the beloved culinary icon passed away, over 200 of his personal belongings were collected to be auctioned off within this month.
Forty percent of the proceeds will be donated to Bourdain’s alma mater the Culinary Institute of America and its recently established Anthony Bourdain Legacy Scholarship, which grants financial support to students who pursue a study-abroad or a global cuisines program. The remainder of the proceeds will be given to Bourdain’s family, specifically to his wife, Ottavia Busia-Bourdain and their daughter, Ariane.
One of the items to be auctioned (and is perceived to fetch the highest price) is a custom Bob Kramer steel and meteorite chef’s knife. Auctioneer Lark Mason, famous for his appearances on PBS’s Antiques Roadshow, evaluated that the total market value of the collection ranges between $200,000 to $400,000.
Most items in the collection were appraised with depreciated value, according to Lark Mason Associates. For instance, Peter Lovig Nielsen teak flip-top desks are currently listed for several thousand dollars on an e-commerce site, while Bourdain’s have an estimated market value of only $800 to $1,200.
Photo from Anthony Bourdain’s Twitter
Meanwhile, the paintings by musician and artist John Lurie, which was sold to Bourdain for $19,000 each, are now listed in the auction with the estimated value of $1,000 to $2,000 only each. Lurie expressed anger on Twitter, writing, “They were two of my favorites and I would not have let them go if they were not to Anthony. Now they are up for auction and expected to fetch $1000 to $2000 … They are going to completely devalue my work.
A spokesperson for Lark Mason Associates explained that the auction house uses previous sales as a baseline to set conservative estimates on all the items, with full knowledge that the market will decide the final price.