CBSN New York’s Christina Fan got to see a preview of the collection.
He charmed audiences on screen with his honesty and enthusiasm.
Off screen, Bourdain was known to be just as real.
His family has put his closest possessions up for sale in an online auction. They show his passions and his struggles.
“Somebody asked me if there was anything that sort of surprised me when I was going through the items, and actually no, I think everything was very true to who he represented himself to be,” sales specialist Niki Tiliakos said.
Bourdain, who died from suicide in 2018, loved meaningful mementos, comedy and a tale well-told.
Biographer Laurie Woolever was the celebrity chef’s personal assistant.
She says because of his extensive travels, Bourdain had to be selective about the souvenirs and gifts he took home.
“Anything that sort of made it to the home collection was something that had a real, personal significance to him, so when I look around this room, I really see so much of him. I see the things that he loved,” she said.
The room holds most of the 200 pieces up for auction as part of his estate sale.
Already, people have expressed interest from across the world.
“I think that he struggled in life and he was very honest about his struggles, and I think people identified with that,” Tiliakos said.
Auctioneer Lark Mason says popular pieces include his writing desk and a chrome duck press.
But the highest value item is expected to be a custom-made Bob Kramer steel and meteorite knife.
“Tony was really enamored of this process of doing something that took a long time. It wasn’t mass manufactured. It was done by hand, with a sense of care and a sense of pride in the workmanship,” Woolever said.
The collection also includes original manuscripts, sculptures and clothing.
The online auction starts Wednesday and will run through Oct. 30.
For more information on the auction, visit www.igavelauctions.com.