Sweater made from Princess Diana’s sheep auctioned for over $1 million

Diana sweater

A sheep’s wool sweater that belonged to Princess Diana was auctioned for over $1 million. The piece, known as the “Black Sheep” due to the single black sheep among several white ones, is one of the most iconic ones worn by Diana.

The auction house extended the sale of Princess Diana’s sheep’s wool sweater by a few minutes due to the flood of bids. In just 15 minutes, the price soared from $190,000 (R$926,000 Brazilian Reais) to $1.1 million.

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According to Sotheby’s, this is the highest price ever achieved for a piece of clothing that belonged to Princess Diana, surpassing the “Infanta” style ball gown sold for $604,800 (R$2.9 million Brazilian Reais) in January. Furthermore, it’s the highest price ever paid for a sweater at auction.

Cynthia Houlton, Director of Fashion and Accessories at Sotheby’s, stated, “Iconic clothing and accessories that belonged to and were worn by some of the world’s most famous figures in the realms of fashion, film, music, and politics each have their unique story in the long history of fashion.”

The final price far exceeded the initial estimate of $50,000 to $80,000 (R$243,000 to R$389,000) when it was included in the Fashion Icons collection, which also contains other items that belonged to the late princess, who tragically passed away in a car accident in Paris on August 31, 1997.

In the same session, a black dress with beige ruffles worn by Diana in Wales in 1985 was sold for $381,000 (R$1.857 million), well above the expected value of $80,000 to $120,000 (R$389,000 to R$584,000).

The sheep’s wool sweater, designed by Sally Muir and Joanna Osborne, gained prominence in June 1981, shortly after Diana’s engagement to Prince Charles. The success of the sweater propelled the designers to fame, ushering in a style that is still relevant today, with pieces worn by royalty and quickly becoming trends.

Weeks after Diana was photographed wearing the sweater, the designers received a letter from Buckingham Palace informing them that the garment had been damaged on one of the sleeves and inquiring if it could be repaired or replaced. The designers opted for the latter option and sent a new piece, which garnered a thank-you letter from the princess’s private secretary, Oliver Everett. Both letters were included in the sweater’s sale.

Surprisingly, in March 2023, Joanna found the original piece in an attic. According to the auction house’s photos, the sold piece has several holes in one of the sleeves.

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