More than 15,000 items from the RSC costume department raised $82,500 (£55,000) after going under the hammer in Stratford-upon-Avon, England on Saturday (12Feb11).
Thousands of theatre fans lined up for hours to check out the display of outfits and accessories, including Egyptian headdresses, capes and cloaks from past plays.
A plain white shirt worn by Sir Patrick in Hamlet in 2008 fetched $90 (£60), while green embroidered doublet and breeches donned by David Tennant in a 2008 production of Love’s Labour’s Lost went for $675 (£450).
One fan paid $75 (£50) for a pair of grey felt slippers Tennant wore offstage while in Hamlet in 2008, while a shirt worn by McKellen in The Seagull in 2007 sold for $90 (£60).
The RSC’s Head of Costume Alistair McArthur says, “Our store rooms are so full now, that we’ve had to clear out the costumes we know we won’t use again or we can no longer hire out. Some pieces really are beautiful – so much craft has gone into making them – watching them go to a different home feels a bit like letting your children go off to college.”