Robin Williams collection a top draw at Clars’ April 19

Robin Williams

Donald Roller Wilson (American, b. 1938-), ‘Shirley’s Friend Waited for Shirley but She Never Came,’ 1985, est. $10,000-$15,000. Robin Williams estate collection

OAKLAND, Calif. – Clars Auction Gallery will present the celebrity collection of the late Robin Williams as a highlight of their April 19 online-only auction, with absentee and online bidding available through LiveAuctioneers. The extraordinary collection amassed by Williams is a reflection of the late comedian/actor’s interests and career, including a passion for contemporary art.

Selections from the Robin Williams collection include a 1985 Donald Roller Wilson (American, b. 1938-) oil-on-canvas titled “Shirley’s Friend Waited for Shirley but She Never Came” (shown at top of page), which is estimated at $10,000-$15,000.

Also to be offered, is a Kim Cogan (American, 20th century) oil-on panel, “Ducks in a Row,” valued at $6,000-$9,000.

Robin Williams

Kim Cogan, ‘Ducks in a Row,’ oil-on-panel, 2007, $6,000-$9,000. Robin Williams estate collection

Featuring prominently in the sale is a Toshikazu Nozaka (Japanese, 20th century) acrylic and ink on canvas work, “Gray Wave,” 2000, which is expected to bring $4,000-$6,000.

Robin Williams

Toshikazu Nozaka (Japanese, 20th century), ‘Gray Wave,’ acrylic and ink on canvas, $4,000-$6,000. Robin Williams estate collection

Additionally from the Robin Williams estate collection, an untitled 1987 Mihail Chemiakin (Russian/American, b. 1943-) ink on mylar artwork is entered with a $4,000-$6,000 estimate.

Williams’ collection is not limited to fine art alone. His eclectic property also features numerous decorative art pieces. A small, circa-1800 English orrery will be offered with an estimate of $7,000-$10,000. There are several whimsical pieces including a small taxidermy monkey. Robin Williams’ fans will recall the late comedian’s connection to Crystal, a screen monkey who costarred with Robin Williams in Night at the Museum. Robin celebrated his final birthday, on July 21, 2014, posting with Crystal the monkey.

Robin Williams

Crystal the monkey, taxidermied. Robin Williams estate collection

Another major estate featured in the April 19 auction is that of Frank J Caufield (San Francisco). Mr. Caufield was one of the founding partners of the venture capital firm Kleiner, Perkins, Caufield and Byers.

The highlights of his extensive and varied collection include a 7th century BC Greek Corinthian-form helmet estimated at $20,000-$40,000.

Robin Williams

7th century BC Greek Corinthian-form helmet, est. $20,000-$40,000. Frank J. Caufield estate collection

Also to be offered is a Japanese cloisonne enamel palace vase, from the Meiji period. At the large size of 57.5 inches high, the piece is estimated conservatively at $3,000-$5,000.

Robin Williams

Japanese cloisonne enamel palace vase, Meiji Period, 57.5 inches high, est. $3,000-$5,000. Frank J. Caufield estate collection

Several investment-grade artworks from the Caufield collection will be included. David Bates’ (American, b. 1952-) 2002 oil-on-canvas titled “Coffee” is valued at $10,000-$20,000; while a 1963 Paul Wonner (American, 1920–2008) watercolor and pencil on paper titled “Sarah Vaughan” could reach $2,000-$4,000. Both of these exceptional paintings were acquired by Mr. Caufield from the John Berggruen Gallery, San Francisco.

Robin Williams

David Bates’ (American, b. 1952-) 2002 oil-on-canvas titled “Coffee,” est. $10,000-$20,000. Frank J. Caufield estate collection

The April 19, 2020 sale also features two watercolors by Sir William Russell Flint (British, 1880-1969), “Mending the Church Chairs, Laigueglia, Liguria (1927)” estimated at $12,000-$15,000; and “Maid and Mistress” estimated at $6,000-$9,000. Both of these rare works epitomize Flint’s skill in depicting the female form. Ten percent of the proceeds from the sale of these lots will be donated to the Berkeley Free Clinic, providers of free health care in the East Bay for those most in need during the current health crisis. 

There are several 20th-century design highlights in the sale, including a Tiffany Studios leaded glass Pomegranate table lamp, estimated at $8,000-$12,000. Also to be auctioned is a pair of John Dickinson (American, 1920-1982) African tables valued at $4,000-$6,000, a George Nakashima (1905-1990) Cushion chair estimated at $4,000-$6,000, a T.H. Robsjohn-Gibbings for Widdicomb coffee table, model 1759; and a rare Edward Wormley for Dunbar Morris chair, model 5420.

Robin Williams

Tiffany Studios table lamp, Pomegranate pattern, est. $8,000-$12,000

For celebrity collectors, Clars will be offering an ebonized and scenic decorated baby grand piano depicting scenes of The Grand Tour, reputedly from the Hillsborough, California, residence of the late Bing Crosby. It is expected to sell for $3,000-$5,000.

The auction also features a collection of fine gemstone, diamond and gold jewelry.

Absentee and live online bidding will be available through LiveAuctioneers. For questions about any item in the auction call Clars at 510-428-0100 or email