Sondheim Auction Brings in More Than $1.5 Million | Playbill

On the Rialto Sondheim Auction Brings in More Than $1.5 Million

The late Broadway legend's thesauruses were among the sale's hottest tickets.

Doyle's "The Collection of Stephen Sondheim" Auction Vi Dang

Doyle Auctions hosted a sale of late Broadway legend Stephen Sondheim's personal effects June 18, with more than 300 lots covering show memorabilia, personal clothing, books, furniture, and more.

And the Sondheim fans had their wallets open. Doyle tells Playbill the sale brought in more than $1.5 million—"far over expectations," Senior Vice President Louis LeB. Webre says. Among the hot ticket items were a gold record of the West Side Story soundtrack that sold for $46,800, two lots of thesauruses that went for more than $40,000 combined, boxes of the composer-lyricist's favorite pencils that sold for $6,400, Sondheim's first check for a published song (for a whopping 74 cents) that sold for $20,480, and more.

The amount of bids ended up making the sale a long affair. Averaging 45 lots an hour, the full sale went from 10 AM to after 8 PM ET.

See highlights from the completed sale at

The collection was on display at Doyle's Manhattan showroom on East 87th Street June 14–17.

Sondheim, who passed away in 2021, was a true Broadway legend, credited by many with changing the face of musical theatre. He started his career penning lyrics to West Side Story and Gypsy, next moving on to a string of scores as a composer and lyricist, including Company, Follies, A Little Night Music, Pacific Overtures, Sweeney Todd, Sunday in the Park With George, Into the Woods, Passion, and Assassins. Over his career, he won seven Tony Awards and received an eighth for lifetime achievement; eight Grammys; an Academy Award; and the Pulitzer Prize for Drama.

Photos: Doyle's "The Collection of Stephen Sondheim" Auction

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