A sweater belonging to the late Princess Diana that featured a black sheep among panels of white ones sold for $1.,14 million at a Sotheby’s auction in New York. The auction began on 31 August, and the highest offer remained below $200,000 until the final minutes.
According to the BBC, Sotheby’s had estimated the value of Princess Diana’s “sheep sweater” at $50,000 to $80,000 (£40,300 to £64,500). It did not reveal the identify of the successful bidder.
The basic piece of knitwear, which was discovered in March in an attic, commanded a higher price than many other items associated with the “People’s Princess” that have been sold at auction in recent years.
In 2022, a Ford Escort resembling Priness Diana’s vehicle may be available for $806,000.
In January, the amethyst-encrusted Attallah Cross that Diana frequently wore was sold to reality star Kim Kardashian for approximately one-fifth of the price of the jumper: $203,000 (£163,800).
The design of the jumper is frequently characterised as emblematic of Princess Diana’s position in the royal family.
When Princess Diana wore the knitwear a month before her wedding to then-Prince Charles in 1981, fashion historians believe she was not sending a message, as she may have done with her famous “revenge dress” in later years. Many claim that Diana merely wore the “Sloane Ranger” style that she helped popularise.
According to Sotheby’s, in the era before social media influencers, newspaper photos of Diana wearing the jumper gave its manufacturer, Warm and Wonderful knitwear, a “stratospheric launch” and prompted imitation designs.
Shortly after her wedding, Buckingham Palace notified Warm and Wonderful that the jumper had sustained damage and requested a replacement. In 1983, Princess Diana donned the replacement to another polo match.
In the auction lot, Sotheby’s included both the letter to Warm and Wonderful and a thank-you note for the replacement. In addition, the sweater’s tiny hole was used to verify its authenticity.