Princess Diana's iconic "Black Sheep" sweater fetched an astonishing $1.1 million at a Sotheby's auction in New York, smashing pre-auction estimates and setting multiple records.
The red knit sweater, famously worn by Lady Di at a 1980s polo match, became the most valuable sweater ever sold at auction, surpassing the $334,000 achieved by Kurt Cobain's cardigan in 2019. It also established a new auction record for any piece of Diana's clothing, outpacing her Victor Edelstein evening dress that sold for $604,800 earlier in the year.
Rediscovered by its creators, Joanna Osborne and Sally Muir, the sweater generated intense bidding interest, with a total of 44 bids during its first market appearance. The 15-minute bidding war drove the price from an initial $190,000 to the staggering final sum of $1.1 million, far surpassing the $80,000 high estimate.
The original "Black Sheep" design was one of the first creations by Osborne and Muir for Warm & Wonderful, becoming a symbol of the British label's success. Lost for decades, the designers stumbled upon it earlier this year while searching for an old pattern in an attic. They expressed their deep appreciation for Princess Diana, acknowledging her unique connection to the design and the significant impact it had on their business.
Warm & Wonderful, with the help of Jack Carlson from Rowing Blazers, revived the sweater in 2020, making it available for $248, a far cry from the astronomical auction price.