Princess Diana’s iconic 'Black Sheep’ sweater sells for $1.1m at auction | History News

A knitted sweater once owned by Princess Diana fetches the highest price ever paid at auction.

A red sweater worn by the young Princess Diana, lined with rows of woolly white sheep with a single black sheep, sold for more than $1.1 million at auction, following frantic competition in the final online auction, Sotheby’s auction house has announced.

The whimsically themed „Black Sheep” sweater, worn by 19-year-old Diana after her engagement to then-Prince Charles at a polo match in which the prince participated in June 1981, has become one of the most iconic outfits the princess has ever worn. – Must be.

In retrospect, the dress hinted at Diana’s difficult journey as a member of the United Kingdom’s royal family.

Sotheby’s said on Thursday that the sweater sold for $1.1m, more than 10 times its initial sale estimate of $50,000 to $80,000 – including fees and commission – after a fierce battle from internet bidders.

Due to an avalanche of bids, Sotheby’s extended the sale by several minutes, with prices rising from $190,000 to $1.1m in the final 15 minutes.

Auctioneers did not disclose the identity of the winning bidder.


According to Sotheby’s, it’s the highest price ever paid for a Princess Diana dress at auction — eclipsing her Infanta-style ball gown, which sold for $604,000 in January.

It is the most valuable sweater ever sold at auction.

„Unlike most of the items we’ve seen in the hands of lucky collectors and museums in the 25-plus years since her death, the sweater came before the upheavals that defined Diana’s life to the end,” Sotheby’s said on its website. Introducing the auction.

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Created by then-little-known designers Sally Muir and Joanna Osborne and their knitting company Warm and Wonderful, the company later rose to fame after Diana wore their clothes.

A few weeks after Diana was photographed above, the designers received a letter explaining that one of the sweater’s sleeves was damaged and asking if it could be repaired or replaced.

The designers sent Diana a new sweater. They assumed the original had been repaired and sent to another customer, but in March 2023 Osborne discovered „Black Sheep” in a small box in his room.

The auction includes a letter requesting repairs and a thank-you note from Diana’s private secretary, Oliver Everett.


Sotheby’s catalog notes, „Worn by Diana Spencer to Prince Charles’ polo match in 1981.”

„This lot contains two official letters written in 1981 from Buckingham Palace to Warm and Wonderful politely explaining that the jumper was damaged and requesting repair or replacement,” it said.

„Warm and Wonderful sent her a replacement sweater she wore in 1983 for another polo match,” it added.

„Coupled with a matching photo authentication from Sotheby’s, it has been confirmed that this lost sheep’s jumper found in an attic is the original sheep’s jumper worn by Princess Diana 40 years ago.”

The online auction opened on August 31, the 26th anniversary of Diana’s death in a Paris car crash.


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