A collection of 215 items that belonged to Anthony Bourdain will be up for auction next month, The New York Times reported yesterday. The proceeds will be divided between Bourdain’s family and the Culinary Institute of America, which will establish a travel scholarship in Bourdain’s name.
The auction, which includes artwork, books, records, a duck press, a typed manuscript of Bourdain’s first novel, a custom-made chef’s knife, and Bourdain’s writing desk, will be run by Lark Mason and Associates. (If you watch Antiques Roadshow, Mason will probably be known to you.) Some of the items will be on display at the auction house’s locations in New York and New Braunfels, Texas, and also in Savannah, Georgia.
There are some people who might find the idea of people competing to own a dead man’s possessions a bit ghoulish (even if the money is going to a good cause), but there are others who believe that when a person uses and loves an object, that object becomes imbued with their essence, or their soul, or whatever you choose to call it. It’s possible that some of this stuff may be going to predatory collectors, but the value of most of this stuff is entirely sentimental: The most expensive piece in the collection, an oil painting by Brad Phillips, is valued at $4,000, small potatoes in the art world. It’s a lovely idea that the spirit of Anthony Bourdain will be going out into the world to live with people who loved him, even if they were never close to him.