The last time an auction prompted this much excitement, Cary Grant was trying to escape from the bad guys in North by Northwest. But Charlie Trotter’s efforts to sell off the contents of his legendary, now-closed Chicago restaurant keep stirring up trouble and chaos. First a pallet of rare wine disappeared en route to Christie’s from Chicago. Then the original live auction in December turned into a three-ring circus, with Trotter tossing out Chicago Tribune reporter Mark Caro, berating the audience for failing to appreciate the cost of the frames of some of his restaurant’s art, and finally pulling the plug on the whole sale. But when the auction kicks off online today, all Trotter will be able to do is tweet his displeasure.
The auction is going online: 735 lots — about half of what went on sale in December — will be offered, ranging from artwork (in very expensive frames!) to china and stemware, copper pots, furniture, and more. And there’s no question that the auction will take place this time: “The chef has made a decision. He’s a driven man, and [the first auction] was hard for him emotionally,” Auction Consultants’ Scott Bowers told Caro, but this time “the chef is committed to sell the items.”
No word on exactly when the auction starts, but it will be up later today here and run through February 24.