Princess Diana’s red and white wool Black Sheep jumper from Warm & Wonderful has set auction records. The sweater was sold for $1.1 million, above pre-sale predictions, at Sotheby’s inaugural Fashion Icons auction on Thursday.
The price set a new auction record for any item of apparel worn by the late Princess of Wales. Making it the most valuable sweater ever sold at auction. Joanna Osborne and Sally Muir, cofounders of the British luxury knitwear firm Warm & Wonderful, recently rediscovered the sweater.
The sculpture received 44 bids, pushing the final price over 14 times its $80,000 high estimate. As bidding on the sweater began to close, the bid increased from $190,000 to its ultimate price of $1.1 million.
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Princess Diana returned her original sweater to the Designers, which later on was auctioned
Princess Diana wore her renowned sweater at one of Prince Charles’ polo matches in June 1981. When the couple was newly engaged. Diana had returned her original sweater to the designers via Buckingham Palace for repair or replacement because it had gotten too worn.
Rather than fixing the original, Muir and Osbourne produced a new one for the princess. Getting a letter of appreciation from a royal assistant that stated, “I know Her Royal Highness will be glad to have the garment back and be extremely thankful to you for having re-done it.”
The sole variation between the original and replacement sweaters was the orientation of the single black sheep within the flock of white sheep. The $1.1 million auction price for the sweater greatly outstrips the $604,800 price for Princess Diana’s “Infanta” style ballgown made by Victor Edelstein. Which sold in January at Sotheby’s New York.
That same month, Sotheby’s sold Princess Diana’s amethyst and diamond “Attallah Cross” for $197,453 to Kim Kardashian. It is believed that the cross was only ever worn by Princess Diana.
It was never seen in public again after her death until Sotheby’s London Royal and Noble sale earlier this year.
The iconic sweater dominated the Fashion Icons auction, which drew global bidding from 12 nations and sold 90% of the pieces. A Murray Arbeid evening gown, also worn by Princess Diana, was of particular interest. The renowned gown was worn on multiple occasions by the former Princess of Wales. It drew 21 bids and eventually sold for $381,000, more than three times its pre-auction high estimate of $120,000.