Princess Diana’s ‘black sheep’ sweater sold for more than $1 million

Princess Diana's red sweater, with a black sheep in the middle of rows of white sheep, was sold for 1.14 million dollars at the New York branch of Sotheby's Auction House.

The auction started on August 31, and the highest price offered remained below 200 thousand dollars until the last minutes of the auction.

Sotheby’s said the estimated value of the sweater was 50 to 80 thousand dollars. The auction house did not identify the buyer of the sweater.

A knitted sweater found in the attic of a house last March became the highest-earning Princess Diana item sold in recent years.

Diana’s Ford Escort brand car was also sold for 806 thousand dollars last year.

It was often said that the design of the sweater showed Princess Diana’s position in the Royal Family.

But fashion historians believe Diana wasn’t sending a message with the sweater she wore in 1981, a month before her marriage to King Charles.

When Diana wore the sweater, the company that produced it, Warm and Wonderful, became famous.

Buckingham Palace wrote a letter to the company immediately after the marriage, stating that the sweater was damaged and asking for a new one. Princess Diana later wore the new sweater at a polo match in 1983.

Princess Diana
Princess Diana

Lady Di’s sheep sweater broke all records: it was auctioned for $1,100,000 in London

Princess Diana’s garment had become iconic because of the black sheep she wore on her forehead.
It was found by chance earlier this year in an attic.

The red wool sweater with a black sheep that Princess Diana wore in 1981 was auctioned this Thursday for $1,100,000, thus setting a new sales record for any garment worn by Lady Di.

The jersey also became the most valuable awarded at auction, Sotheby’s, which was in charge of the auction, confirmed to the EFE agency.

The sweater was worn by Princess Diana to Prince Charles’s polo match in June 1981, a month before her wedding.

Known as “Black Sheep” because of the black sheep that stood out on the front among a multitude of white sheep shapes, it was one of the most emblematic garments worn by Princess Diana, who died in a car accident on August 31, 1997 in Paris.

The garment from the British brand Warm & Wonderful reached a total of 44 bids, which ended up multiplying its final price by 14, estimated at US$80,000. The auction was active from August 31 to September 14.

The auction house extended the sale for a few minutes due to the avalanche of bids that reached the edge of closing and that made the price go from $190,000 in 15 minutes to the $1,100,000 at which it was awarded.

The Sheep Sweater opened Sotheby’s Fashion Icons auction in New York, which featured “a highly curated selection” of pieces from the “most influential” people, designers and cultural moments in history.

The story of Lady Di’s sheep sweater

Weeks after Diana was photographed wearing the sweater, the designers received a letter from Buckingham Palace explaining that the garment had suffered some damage to one sleeve and asking if it could be repaired or even replaced.

The designers sent her a new garment, which earned them a letter of thanks from the princess’s private secretary, Oliver Everett.

Both letters were part of the sale of the sweater.

The designers of the original model assumed that the original had been repaired and sent to a customer. But in March 2023, when Joanna was looking in the attic for an old pattern, she found the red sheep sweater in a small box.

According to photographs from the auction house, the garment sold has several holes in one sleeve.

A Lady Di dress was auctioned for almost $400,000

This same Thursday, the sale of a black and white Princess of Wales dress designed by Murray Arbeid, which was worn by her on two occasions in 1985, was also completed for $380,000.

First to celebrate Prince Edward’s 21st birthday at the Midsummer Night’s Ball in June and then for the Worshipfull Company of Fanmakers banquet in December.

In January Sotheby’s had auctioned the purple velvet “Infanta style” ball gown designed by Victor Edelstein for $604,800.

The auction also included the dress worn by Kate Winslet during the 1998 Oscars, when she was nominated for best actress for her role in Titanic, and a dress worn by former first lady of the United States Michelle Obama during a charity celebration, among other clothes.

The first was awarded for US$12,700 and the second for US$9,525.


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