Auction  October 5, 2018  Megan D Robinson

Eclectic Collection of Robin Williams Achieves $6.1 Million at Auction

Courtesy Sotheby's

Banksy, Happy Choppers, 2006, spray paint and emulsion on canvas. Estimate $400/600,000. Sold for $735,000.

This week Sotheby's auctioned off the collection of Marsha Garces Williams and Robin Williams, achieving $6.1 million. Amassed over more than two decades, the collection is an impressive, eclectic mix of contemporary and outsider artwork, including movie memorabilia, antiques, fine watches, paintings, prints and sculptures. “Today’s sale invited collectors and admirers to share in the extraordinary lives of Marsha and Robin Williams, and bidders from every corner of the globe competed for every part of the collection,” says Nina del Rio, Sotheby’s Vice Chairman.

Der San Salvathor, by Adolf Wolfi, lead the auction, selling for $795,000, almost four times it’s highest estimated value. It had been a birthday present from Marsha to Robin. Street art, such as Banksy's Happy Choppers, which sold for $735,000 (estimate $400,000-600,000), was extremely popular. Ten other works, including two more by Bansky and one by Invader, sold for $100,000 or more.

Courtesy Sotheby's

Adolf Wölfli, Der San Salvathor, 1926, graphite, colored pencil and crayon on paper. Estimate $150/200,000. Sold for $795,000.

Bidding over movie memorabilia was particularly competitive. An original watercolor, painted by director Gus Van Sant and dedicated to Robin, valued at $1,000-1,500, sold for $90,000. Robin’s Golden Globe Award for Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture Comedy or Musical for Good Morning Vietnam (1987), sold for $27,500 (estimate $15,000-20,000) and various movie props from Hook were highly sought after. A Prop Sword and Prop Dagger sold for $17,500 (estimate $1,000-2,000) and $4,750 (estimate $300-500), respectively.

Courtesy Sotheby's

Gus Van Sant, Original Watercolor Painting from Good Will Hunting, Inscribed "From gus to Robin—turn your boat around! Good for you! Can a-corn!!!" Estimate $1/1,500. Sold for $90,000.

Top sales also included Magdalena Abkanowicz’s striking sculptural installation, Caminando (20 Walking Figures), which sold for $471,000 (estimate $400/600,000). Niki de Saint-Phalle’s Le Poète Et Sa Muse sold for $399,000 (estimate $350,000-450,000). Deborah Butterfield’s Madrone (Cody) sold for $225,000 (estimate $220,000-280,000). Judy Kensley Mckie’s “Monkey” Armchair, sold for  $112,500 (estimate $20,000-30,000). Shepard Fairey’s Arab Woman also sold for $112,500 (estimate $70,000-90,000.)

Magdalena Abakanowicz, Caminando (20 Walking Figures), 1998-1999
Courtesy Sotheby's

Magdalena Abakanowicz, Caminando (20 Walking Figures), 1998-1999, bronze. Estimate $400/600,000. Sold for $471,000.

Deborah Butterfield, Madrone (Cody), 2000
Courtesy Sotheby's

Deborah Butterfield, Madrone (Cody), 2000, cast bronze. Estimate $220/280,000. Sold for $225,000.

Shepard Fairey, Arab Woman, 2006
Courtesy Sotheby's

Shepard Fairey, Arab Woman, 2006, stencil, silkscreen and painted printed-paper, collage on canvas. Estimate $70/90,000. Sold for $112,500.

45 wristwatches from Robin’s personal collection sold for double the group’s high estimate, totaling $445,000. Led by a Fine White Gold Tonneau-Form Minute Repeating Tourbillon Wristwatch Ref 6850 by Franck Muller, circa 1998, which achieved $52,500 (estimate $25,000-35,000), the selection also featured the engraved Dead Poets Society Hamilton Watch Co. Wristwatch Robin wore in the film. Estimated at $1,000-2,000, the watch sold for $32,500.

A portion of the proceeds went to charitable organizations, including The Juilliard School, Wounded Warrior Project, the Challenged Athletes Foundation and the Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation.

About the Author

Megan D Robinson

Megan D Robinson writes for Art & Object and the Iowa Source.