An Anthony Bourdain Auction Will Include His Treasured Knife

An Anthony Bourdain Auction Will Include His Treasured Knife

A collection of belongings left behind by Anthony Bourdain, the celebrity chef and television star who died in June 2018, will be sold in an online auction in October.

Sixty percent of the proceeds of the auction will go to Mr. Bourdain’s wife, Ottavia Busia, and daughter, Ariane. (Mr. Bourdain and Ms. Busia were separated at the time of his death.)

The remainder will be donated to a new scholarship to the Culinary of Institute of America created in Mr. Bourdain’s name that will allow recipients to spend a semester abroad or to study international topics.

The auctioneer, Lark Mason, estimates that the 215 lots on the block have a market value between $200,000 and $400,000.

Despite extensive travels in his time hosting “No Reservations” on the Travel Channel and, later, “Parts Unknown,” Mr. Bourdain did not amass an enormous collection of souvenirs. His longtime personal assistant, Laurie Woolever, explained that while Mr. Bourdain was offered gifts everywhere he went, he eventually became more selective about what he chose to keep.

The items being sold present a coherent portrait of Mr. Bourdain. They include art by Ralph Steadman (the Hunter S. Thompson collaborator and a friend of Mr. Bourdain’s) and John Lurie, the downtown Manhattan celebrity; a steel and meteorite chef’s knife; various books, records and several manuscripts of the chef’s own work.

Many of them speak to the quiet elegance favored by Mr. Bourdain, who told Ms. Woolever that he wanted his Manhattan apartment to feel like the Chateau Marmont in West Hollywood.

“He valued comfort, and he knew what looked good,” Ms. Woolever said. “He was definitely aware of how to play to his assets. When Vogue magazine approached us to do a story about him and I presented to him, my thought was, ‘He’s not going to want this.’ As was the case with so many things, I was wrong. He said, ‘Oh I absolutely want to do this, out of a sense of sheer vanity. I’m so flattered.’”

The auction is being sponsored and run by Mr. Mason’s auction house, which has locations in New Braunfels, Tex., and New York City. Mr. Mason, who frequently appears on “Antiques Roadshow” on PBS, will also host exhibitions of Mr. Bourdain’s belongings in New York, Savannah, Ga., and New Braunfels during the auction.

In an interview, Mr. Mason, who did not know Mr. Bourdain personally, said that his possessions showed appetite for basics: for clothes that fit well and knives that cut cleanly.

“Those things helped ground him,” Mr. Mason said. “He had a turbulent life in many respects and an unsettled soul. As we look at all these things, almost everything was purposeful.”

Mr. Bourdain, who was 61 when he died, merged the rebellious downtown cool of the 1970s and 1980s with the old-world style of his parents, who raised him and a younger brother, Christopher, in the 1950s and 1960s in a bedroom community in New Jersey. Their father, Pierre Bourdain, was an executive in the classical music recording industry.

“Even though he rebelled so hard against it, I think there was a sense of pride that his parents were interested in elegant things and being culturally literate,” Ms. Woolever said.

One item in the auction reflecting that contradiction, which he once told The Wall Street Journal that he was particularly proud of, is a metallic duck press that appeared in a 2012 episode of “Parts Unknown.” After being dismembered, the duck is placed in the press and squeezed and its juices run into a cup.

“It’s embracing the real natural world in which we exist,” Mr. Mason said. “We’re animals. We’re right there with the duck and here’s the duck.”

The knife for sale, which is expected to fetch the highest price of any lot, is a Bob Kramer steel and meteorite from Campo de Cielo in South America, which Mr. Kramer made for Mr. Bourdain and gave to him in 2016.

“He was thrilled, and I was thrilled,” Mr. Kramer recalled of the presentation. “He walked right to the bar and he was like, ‘Oh man, I’ve been looking forward to this.’ He held it, looked at me, I don’t know, we just connected there for a second. Because he got it and I’d made it for him.”

Among the articles of clothing for sale is a U.S. Navy jacket that Mr. Bourdain received in the summer of 2006, after having to leave Beirut in a hurry in the midst of the Israeli-Lebanese conflict.

Along with other Americans trapped in the city, and his own production crew for “No Reservations,” the chef was evacuated through the U.S.S. Nashville. Sailors on the ship presented Mr. Bourdain with the jacket, which had affixed to it a specially made patch for him, bearing an image of a crossed pair of knives.

Source link

About The Author

We report the News from around the Globe. Please support our advertisers.

Related posts

Leave a Reply