TV Chef Anthony Bourdain’s Art Collection (and Other Prized Possessions) Are Heading to Auction

Highlights include a custom meteorite chef’s knife and several works by the author and TV personality's favorite artists.

Author/TV personality Anthony Bourdain at Build Studio on October 30, 2017 in New York City. Photo: Slaven Vlasic/Getty Images.
Author and TV personality Anthony Bourdain in 2017. Photo: Slaven Vlasic/Getty Images.

The late chef and TV host Anthony Bourdain apparently had an appetite for culture that was as big as his appetite for far-flung cuisines. During his travels, Bourdain amassed a collection of art, furniture, kitchenware, and other objects from around the world, and now 215 of them are going up for sale in an online auction next month

The sale, hosted by New York’s Lark Mason Associates, brings together some of Bourdain’s favorite artists, a representative from Lark Mason told artnet News. Among the highlights are a 2016 oil painting by Brad Phillips, a couple of silkscreen prints by Ralph Steadman, who created the art for Bourdain’s 2016 book, Appetites, and a pair of paintings by artist John Lurie

Each of the works is estimated at less than $5,000 (even though the New York Times has reported that Bourdain purchased Lurie’s works for $19,000 each). Meanwhile, the lot expected to fetch the most is a custom steel-and-meteorite chef’s knife, designed by famed American bladesmith Bob Kramer, estimated at $4,000 to $6,000. Altogether, the collection is conservatively estimated to be worth upwards of $400,000.

John Lurie, <em>The Sky Is Falling, I am Learning to Live With It</em>. Courtesy of Lark Mason Associates.

John Lurie, The Sky Is Falling, I am Learning to Live With It. Courtesy of Lark Mason Associates.

“[Bourdain] was a larger-than-life personality with so many interests other than food and this sale reflects his multidimensional persona,” said Lark Mason, founder of the auction house, in a statement. “We have kept the estimates low so that everyone who loved Tony will have the opportunity to purchase something from this sale and know that part of the proceeds will be going to a good cause.”

A custom Bob Kramer steel and meteorite chef's knife, with a certificate to Anthony Bourdain. Courtesy of Lark Mason Associates.

A custom Bob Kramer steel-and-meteorite chef’s knife, with a certificate to Anthony Bourdain. Courtesy of Lark Mason Associates.

Forty percent of the proceeds from the sale will benefit the Anthony Bourdain Legacy Scholarship at the Culinary Institute of America, from which the chef graduated in 1978. The scholarship, founded in June, helps fund students who study abroad or take part in the school’s global cuisine classes. The remaining proceeds will go to Ottavia Busia, Bourdain’s wife (from whom he was separated at the time of his death), and his daughter, Ariane. 

Property from the Collection of Anthony Bourdain” will run from October 9 through October 30 on the online auction website iGavel.


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