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Anthony Bourdain's custom Bob Kramer chef's knife going up for auction

Discussion in 'Custom & Handmade Knives' started by tyyreaun, Sep 17, 2019.

  1. tyyreaun

    tyyreaun Gold Member Gold Member

    Feb 26, 2017
    The auctioneer is estimating it going for somewhere between $4K and $6K. That seems... super low, to me - given what Bob's knives regularly fetch, and the fact that Bourdain has a large following.

    d762nato and smitty44 like this.
  2. SharpByCoop

    SharpByCoop Enjoying the discussions Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Oct 8, 2001
    I agree. This knife is ALL over the internet in articles about his possessions auction (Over 200 lots). However, the NYT got it right:

    "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."

    I predict $40k. It could go much higher. Direct info here.
    Joss, Mike157 and Dusty One like this.
  3. Dago Red

    Dago Red Gold Member Gold Member

    Jun 16, 2008
    Lots of rich chef friends of his out there, and even richer fans. Great looking knife

    Mike157 likes this.
  4. Dawkind

    Dawkind Platinum Member Platinum Member

    Apr 3, 2000
    Lots of folks mad at their money....;):D
    Mike157, Natlek, Stumpy and 1 other person like this.
  5. paneraica


    Mar 4, 2011
    Most auction houses under value to get bidding going, but I figure the knife will meet estimate and just maybe go over a bit.

    To go higher. You would need someone who knows who Bob Kramer is (I had to look up the name) and is a big
    Bourdain fan and willing to pay up for both.

    If your a chef and know who Kramer is. Most likely you already have one (or more) of his knives, so would anyone step up and pay more for another because Anthony Bourdain owned it?

    If a big Bourdain fan and the knife is the highest priced item. Then there are lesser priced items available to bid on if you want something from the estate

    Could go high as Coop said. People paid thousands for $250 cookie jars when Andy Warhol died

    Honestly. I like the teak desk far more than the knife

  6. SharpByCoop

    SharpByCoop Enjoying the discussions Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Oct 8, 2001
    Don, in the world of high-end Custom knives, MY top six MOST sought after and collectible and EXTREME pricing are:

    Ron Appleton
    Bob Kramer
    Ron Lake
    Wolfgang Loerchner
    Jurgen Steinau
    Michael Walker

    Bob is under the radar, yet in many circles he's mightily renowned. He consistently sells (auctions) his basic work over $20K Some as high as $50k with engraving (by Tom Ferry).

    I have never captured a Bob Kramer knife. Testimony to his reclusive clientele.

    We will see. :)
    mb>, Mike157, tyyreaun and 1 other person like this.
  7. TK Steingass

    TK Steingass Knifemaker - Buckeye Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Oct 16, 2010
    C'mon COOP - you can afford one of each :D
    Dawkind, Mike157 and tyyreaun like this.
  8. GotSteel

    GotSteel Basic Member Basic Member

    Mar 1, 2016
    Man that's a sweet knife!
    Mike157 likes this.
  9. Bigfattyt

    Bigfattyt Gold Member Gold Member

    Jun 23, 2007
    Bob's name helps..... For me, Bourdain's name knocks off half the value.....
    Dawkind likes this.
  10. on_the_edge

    on_the_edge Gold Member Gold Member

    Jan 31, 2006
    Dawkind likes this.
  11. Lorien

    Lorien Moderator Moderator

    Dec 5, 2005
    De mortuis nihil nisi bonum
    Joss, seanj, RayseM and 1 other person like this.
  12. tyyreaun

    tyyreaun Gold Member Gold Member

    Feb 26, 2017
    This might help:

    Anyway, it'll definitely go for above estimate, cause I'd buy it for more than $6,000 :p
  13. mb>

    mb> Gold Member Gold Member

    Sep 24, 2014
    Thread titles you don’t see:
    “What’s the best stone to sharpen meteorite?”

    coldsteelburns, Mike157 and tyyreaun like this.
  14. brownshoe

    brownshoe I support this site with my MIND

    Sep 6, 2002
    I'd rather have Bob Kramer's personal chef knife! This is a knife forum :)
    razorburn and Mike157 like this.
  15. Aidenag


    Apr 16, 2009
    One could EASILY argue that kramer is by far the most well known ABS mastersmith in history. He's been on tons of tv shows, written about in every major national and some international publications, thousands of website profiles and mentions. He may not be the 'top dog' with the hardcore knife crowd, but there isn't a smith alive whose name/brand is more known than his. Probably the first mastersmith to push mainstream audiences. Which is why he sells his knives via lottery auctions. if he hadn't ended his 10+year waitlist eons ago he woulda been backed up to a few decades after he died by now lol. I know chefs that would kill for a kramer knife, but never get a shot at the lottery auctions, and or can't afford the insane prices. He had one go for near $60k a while back i was reading. If this knife sells for anything short of $20k i would be SHOCKED
    mb>, Joss, tyyreaun and 1 other person like this.
  16. brownshoe

    brownshoe I support this site with my MIND

    Sep 6, 2002
    A family member who is a chef says the Kramer production versions are nice knives, but not really worth it to him. He doesn't see them used in professional kitchens despite the hype. One thing, kitchens are filled with thieves, he keeps his knives in a locked steel tool box; and a key lock, not combination.

    Kramer originally was searching for the Frank Richtig magic steel/heat treat recipe. https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2008/11/24/sharper

    Since he now uses damascus steel, which Richtig did not, it appears he's left that search behind. Wonder if he figured out the heat treat recipe. Does anyone know?
    razorburn and Mike157 like this.
  17. tyyreaun

    tyyreaun Gold Member Gold Member

    Feb 26, 2017
    Oh, I'm absolutely sure they're status items for successful restaurateurs or celebrity chefs, and rarely used. Just the fact he's including meteorite iron in his steel tells me it (probably) wouldn't perform quite as well as a knife made from a steel of known composition and heat treat recipe, like W2.

    His production knives wouldn't have meteorite iron, of course, but are likely still overpriced given the branding.
  18. Lorien

    Lorien Moderator Moderator

    Dec 5, 2005
    really enjoyed that vid, and thought that smoking that tuna using a piece of meteorite was awesome. I wanna do that
    mb>, Mike157 and tyyreaun like this.
  19. Joss

    Joss Platinum Member Platinum Member

    Nov 20, 2001
    I'd be shocked if this doesn't fetch more than $6k.

    Bob's knives went from being the most sought after professional grade knives to collector unobtainium. Bob invested many, many years toiling in *relative* obscurity, refining his craft. He can now do what he wants; more power to him. I met him a couple times, he's a very nice guy. I regret not putting my name on his list earlier than I did.
    mb> and Mike157 like this.
  20. mb>

    mb> Gold Member Gold Member

    Sep 24, 2014
    The knife appears to have been used. I think that's very cool (assuming) that Bourdain used it and didn't lock it away. I sometimes wonder what a maker thinks about making a fine and capable tool, especially a high-end piece, that may very well spend its life sitting on a shelf or in a safe. That's an odd but interesting quandary to me, and I recall it being a subject that had quite a bit of division once when Lorien decided to put a very nice piece to use that had been the subject of a WIP thread. (A Wheeler I think it was Lorien?)

    I watched that Raw Craft series a while back. I thought it was really good, even being just the short segments. If you liked that one on Kramer, the others are worth checking out as well.
    tyyreaun and Mike157 like this.

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