- There were a total of 44 bids within 15 minutes for the famous item of clothing
- Diana first wore the woolen jumper – with its black and white sheep motif – to a polo match of her fiancé, the then-prince of Wales, in June 1981
Princess Diana‘s black sheep sweater has sold at auction for over $1.1million.
The iconic red and white sweater was sold for $1,143,000 at Sotheby’s in New York, after two weeks of online bidding – making it the most expensive piece of clothing owned by the former Princess of Wales to sell at auction.
There were a total of 44 bids within 15 minutes for the famous item of clothing – which ultimately pushed the sale to a staggering 14 times more than its initial asking price of $80,000.
Diana first wore the woolen jumper – with its black and white sheep motif – to a polo match of her fiancé, the then-prince of Wales, in June 1981.
It was one of the first pieces designed by Sally Muir and Joanna Osborne for their knitwear label Warm & Wonderful, and the outing helped catapult their brand into the public eye.
Diana’s sweater has also broke the world record for the most expensive jumper ever sold at auction.
Alongside the sweater are two letters, which were sent between the label and Buckingham Palace.
According to Sotheby’s, Diana damaged the sleeve of the garment – perhaps by catching it on her engagement ring – so Buckingham Palace wrote to Warm & Wonderful asking for it to be repaired.
They decided it would be best to replace it.
According to Sotheby’s Cynthia Houlton: ‘They sent her a new one in 1981, and then in 1983, she was actually photographed again wearing the replacement sweater at another polo match.’
This is significant, the spokesman said, because ‘in terms of pieces, if you think of Princess Diana and her wardrobe, she certainly had lots of options in terms of things she could have chosen to wear, things that… meant something to her’.
Cynthia explained: ‘This sweater… given the fact that she wore it more than once in very public settings… speaks a lot to how important the sweater was to her.’
After Diana had it replaced, the original sweater was lost.
This was until Joanna Osborne unearthed it in her attic earlier this year, tucked away in a small box beside a cotton bedspread.
Describing the sweater as ‘one of the most iconic pieces Princess Diana has ever been photographed in’, she added that the piece has never been to market before.
According to Cynthia: ‘It’s such an exciting thing that since 1981, we’ve been talking about it, and… are now auctioning it. To me, this is the single most iconic piece of hers.’
The actress Emma Corrin wore a replica of the sweater when she played Diana in the fourth season of Netflix’s The Crown in 2020.
The reality star, 42, bought the beloved purple amethyst-and-diamond-encrusted Attallah cross pendant during an auction held by Sotheby’s.