Princess Diana’s iconic red ‘black sheep’ sweater has sold for more than $1.1 million, the highest price paid for any garment sold at an auction that was worn by the Princess, BBC reported. The red sweater worn by a young Princess Diana features a single black sheep among rows of woolly white sheep. She first wore the garment when she attended a polo match in 1981, shortly after she and Prince Charles announced their engagement, as per CNN. The sweater became one of the most emblematic articles of clothing worn by Princess Diana. Many speculated that the princess liked the ”black sheep” pattern because she felt like an outsider in the royal family.
“Unlike most of the items we’ve seen pass through the hands of lucky collectors and museums in the 25-plus years since her death, the sweater came before so much of the turmoil that ultimately defined Diana’s life,” Sotheby’s said on its website introducing the auction.
The sweater was sold for $1.1 million at Sotheby’s inaugural Fashion Icons auction on Thursday. It was recently rediscovered by its makers Joanna Osborne and Sally Muir, and its original estimated price was between $50,000 and $80,000. However, after 44 bids, the price reached 14 times higher than the expected one. The sale then culminated in a fierce 15-minute bidding battle that drove the price from $190,000 up to $1.1 million.
Meanwhile, the identity of the winning bidder has not been disclosed.
#AuctionUpdate: Frenzied bidding pushed Princess Diana’s historic black sheep Warm & Wonderful sweater to sell at $1.1 million today in our inaugural Fashion Icons auction at #SothebysNewYork. pic.twitter.com/zyUYfuuS3Q
— Sotheby’s (@Sothebys) September 14, 2023
“We are thrilled that this cherished sweater has now found a new home, carrying with it the enduring legacy of Princess Diana,” said Muir and Osborne in a statement.
Notably, it is now also the most valuable sweater ever sold at auction, smashing the existing record for Kurt Cobain’s green cardigan which was sold for $334,000 in 2019.
Diana, the mother of Prince William and Prince Harry, divorced King Charles in 1996, She was killed in a car crash in Paris in 1997 at the age of 36.