The Auction for Anthony Bourdain’s Personal Belongings Brings in $1.8 Million

updated Nov 7, 2019
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It was heartbreaking to watch Anthony Bourdain’s personal possessions being auctioned off recently. But in death, as in life, the food television icon and author was helping out a good cause: The items from his estate were auctioned off in support of both the Anthony Bourdain Legacy Scholarship at the Culinary Institute of America and also his estate. The auction ended up raising significantly more money than original estimates, taking in almost $2 million, reports Food & Wine.

Over three weeks, 202 items were bid on by 3,000 people. Of those items, the most expensive one was a chef’s knife custom made from steel and meteorite by famous knife-maker Bob Kramer just for the star, which went for $231,250. But other items weren’t too much cheaper, with an embroidered U.S. Navy jacket going for $171,150. There was also a silvered bronze Michelin man, a chrome duck press, a script to the television show The Simpsons, and a menu signed by Henry Miller. The least expensive item — used comic books of little to no value otherwise — went for over a thousand dollars, as did a stained blazer.

Credit: Courtesy of Lark Mason Associates

There’s no word on who purchased the items, or what they’re planning on doing with them, but it sure is hard to imagine someone chopping an onion with the knife or pulling on the blazer for a dinner party.

As odd as it was to see the quotidian and personal effects of someone so much larger than life bid on like rare Beanie Babies on the internet, the reality is that Bourdain demonstrated a commitment to helping people find their way into and through the industry when he was alive, and likely would be proud to still be doing so.