Until recently, Noma was the foodies’ equivalent of heaven. The restaurant, located in a former whaling depot in Copenhagen, was named best in the world in 2010, 2011, 2012, and 2014 and remained a culinary landmark until it shuttered in 2016. Now, the auction house Wright is selling off the famed restaurant’s gorgeous furniture, decor, and dishware–but it’ll cost you. One small dinner table is listed at $2,000 to $3,000, and a large custom family-style table from the restaurant’s main dining room is estimated to go for $10,000 to $15,000.
Many of the pieces were designed by the firm Space Copenhagen, which did Noma’s interiors from 2003 to its stunning update in 2012. Niels O. Møller’s chairs in the main dining room were smoked and sandblasted individually, making them almost look like they’re made of coal. Wooden chairs, going for between $9,000 and $12,000 for a set of 10, were designed by Hans J. Wegner for the restaurant’s private dining room. This is classic Nordic design–simple lines, muted colors, exquisite materials–making them the ideal complement to head chef René Redzepi’s new Nordic cooking, which featured the likes of pickled and smoked quail’s egg, dehydrated scallops with squid ink, and a cod roe sandwich with thin pieces of duck skin instead of bread.
The dishes alone are enough to inspire any amateur cook to greatness–and perhaps to venture out into the forest and do a little foraging, just like Redzepi is famous for doing. The father-son duo Aage and Kasper Würtz shaped and glazed the ceramic plates and bowls by hand. The stoneware, mottled with deep blues, blacks, and beiges, have their own random patterns, managing to look both one-of-a-kind and wholly consistent with Noma’s aesthetic. Noma began using the studio’s dishes in 2006 and they’ve come to symbolize a kind of artistry–both culinary and ceramic–that has organic, rough edges with contemporary sophistication.
One pair of pale speckled plates, up for auction for an estimated $150 to $200, were used for one of Redzepi’s infamously complex dishes called The Snowman, which featured vinegar meringue, carrot sorbet, sea buckthorn mousse, and yogurt glaze.
All these magnificent pieces are available because Noma officially closed at the end of 2016. Redzepi has announced that the restaurant will be reincarnated in a new location in Copenhagen, with a new culinary concept centered around an urban farm. Noma 2.0 is slated to open in January of 2018.
“So here we are, waiting anxiously to see what happens next,” writes the influential food critic and writer Chris Ying in the auction’s catalog. “The legacy of the old Noma is etched into the memories of the people who were there and the artifacts that remain from that old whaling building.”
The auction starts on November 2 at 8 a.m. Eastern time.