Princess Diana's Famous Black Sheep Sweater Sells For Huge Amount
The famous woolen red sweater adorned with a flock of sheep worn by Princess Diana in 1981 shortly after her engagement to Prince Charles, was sold for over 1.1 million dollars on Thursday at Sotheby's.
The iconic knitwear was first sported by a young Diana at a polo match in 1981, shortly after her engagement to Prince Charles.
The intriguing pattern of the sweater featuring a single black sheep in a grid of white ones has sparked speculation over the years, with many suggesting that Diana chose the 'black sheep' design as a reflection of her feelings of being an outsider within the royal family.
A Fierce Battle For The Famous Black Sheep Sweater
Following a fierce battle, the red and white wool jumper was bought by an unidentified bidder at Sotheby's online Fashion Icons sale.
The auction house confirmed the sale price of 1.1 million dollars, including taxes and commissions, approximately 14 times higher than the initially estimated amount.
Sotheby's had valued the sweater at between $50,000 and $80,000 ahead of two weeks of bidding. 15 minutes before the sale closed, the highest offer stood at $190,000 but after a final flurry of bids reached $1.1 million.
Princess Diana's woolen red sweater (Source : Video Capture)
Joanna Osborne and Sally Muir, the creators of the sweater, expressed their delight at the outcome of the auction.
"We are thrilled that this cherished sweater has now found a new home, carrying with it the enduring legacy of Princess Diana," they said in a statement.
Sotheby's claimed a record auction price for an item of clothing worn by Princess Diana, whose items continue to attract collectors 26 years after her death in a car accident in Paris.
In January 2022, American star Kim Kardashian bought a famous pendant worn by the princess, the Attalah crucifix, at an auction in London (197,453 dollars).
According to Sotheby's, this is also a record for a sweater, surpassing the olive-green cardigan worn by Kurt Cobain in 1993 during Nirvana's MTV Unplugged concert, which remains legendary (334,000 dollars in 2019).
The History Of The Black Sheep Sweater
Soon after her engagement, Diana Spencer wore the red sweater featuring white and black sheep during a polo match in June 1981.
She impressed with her relaxed attitude, creating, according to Sotheby's, "a culturally and virally significant moment."
This public appearance also unexpectedly boosted the profiles of the two designers, Sally Muir and Joanna Osborne, and of their brand "Warm and Wonderful."
A few weeks later, they received a letter from Buckingham Palace explaining that the future Princess of Wales had damaged the sweater and wanted to know if it was possible to repair it or replace it. The designers created another sweater, worn in 1983 by the Princess of Wales.
Diana's first damaged sweater was not repaired and sent to someone else as the designers had believed. In March 2023, Joanna Osborne found it in a box while searching for an old pattern in her attic, and Sotheby's confirmed its authenticity.
Forty years later, the design was relaunched in stores as a result of a partnership between the Rowing Blazers brand and the duo Sally Muir and Joanna Osborne.
Princess Diana, mother to Prince William and Prince Harry, divorced Prince Charles in 1996. She tragically lost her life in a car accident in Paris in 1997 at the age of 36.