Last Updated on September 16, 2023 by SPN Editor
New York City/ September 16, 2023 (SPN) | Lady Diana’s iconic sweater, affectionately dubbed the “black sheep jumper” by the British press, has been sold at a Sotheby’s auction in New York for an astonishing $1.14 million. This sale far exceeded the initial estimates, which had valued the sweater at $80,000.
This historic sale not only established a new record for any piece of clothing worn by the late Princess Diana but also marked the most valuable sweater ever sold at auction. The previous record was held by a green cardigan once owned by musician Kurt Cobain, which fetched $334,000 in 2019.
Bidders from 12 different countries participated in an intense competition for Diana’s black sheep jumper, with a total of 44 bids received during the auction. The excitement reached its peak after a 15-minute bidding battle, ultimately leading to the black sheep sweater’s record-breaking sale.
Lady Diana had worn this black sheep jumper when she was 19, attending one of Prince Charles’s polo matches.
The auction lot also included two official letters sent from Buckingham Palace in 1981 to the London design company “Warm & Wonderful.” These letters politely explained that the sweater had a damaged cuff and requested a repair or replacement.
The company’s co-founders, Joanna Osborne and Sally Muir, sent a new replacement sweater, which Diana wore again in 1983 to another polo match.
The original damaged sweater was discovered by Osborne in a small wine box in an attic earlier this year, confirming it as the original sheep jumper worn by Princess Diana over four decades ago.
The co-founders of “Warm & Wonderful” expressed their gratitude to Diana for her impact on their small business, stating, “We are thrilled that this cherished sweater has now found a new home, carrying with it the enduring legacy of Princess Diana.”
Princess Diana was known for her charity work and earned the nickname “The People’s Princess.” Her fashion choices in the 1980s challenged traditional royal family protocol, embracing bold colors, prints, and extravagant designs.
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Designers like Vivienne Westwood and Judy Blame gained prominence during this era, with Diana’s outfits inspiring fans and admirers.
Notably, celebrities such as David Bowie and Andy Warhol also purchased sheep sweaters designed by “Warm & Wonderful.”
Among her other notable fashion items was the off-shoulder black minidress she wore in 1994, famously called the “revenge dress,” and her amethyst and diamond “Attallah Cross” necklace, which was auctioned earlier this year for $197,453 to Kim Kardashian.
Diana’s impact on fashion and her enduring legacy continues to captivate admirers and collectors alike, with her belongings commanding remarkable prices at auction.