Princess Diana’s Record-Breaking Black Sheep Sweater Auction

A $1.1 Million Last-Minute Triumph for Iconic Fashion

Princess Diana : The Auction Record

In a thrilling auction event, Princess Diana’s iconic black sheep wool sweater achieved an astonishing price of $1.1 million. This remarkable sale, held at Sotheby’s, not only set an auction record but also revived the legend of this beloved fashion piece.

A Fashionable Icon

Princess Diana, known as Lady Diana Spencer at the time, made waves four decades ago when she donned this distinctive garment. The sweater, featuring a solitary black sheep amidst a sea of white sheep, made its debut at one of Prince Charles’ polo matches in June 1981, just months after their engagement.

Princess Diana
Image source : Tim Graham Photo Library Via Getty images

A Design Legacy

Crafted by the brand Warm & Wonderful, this sweater was one of the initial creations by co-founders Sally Muir and Joanna Osborne. It swiftly captivated the world, sparking a viral sensation and becoming a cultural phenomenon.

Symbolism and Resonance

“Sotheby’s” provides insight into the sweater’s profound significance and its deep connection with Princess Diana: “Carefully dissecting the sweater’s symbolism and why it resonated with Diana so deeply, the sweater ignited conversations amongst global media, fashion critics, and of course, the general public.”

Letters from Buckingham Palace

Adding to its historical value, the sweater comes with two letters from Buckingham Palace addressed to Joanna Osborne. The first letter, dated July 16, 1981, was written by Diana’s private secretary, Oliver Everett, requesting repair or replacement of the sweater. The second letter, dated September 28, 1981, expressed gratitude for the sweater’s restoration, conveying, “I know Her Royal Highness will be very glad to have this sweater back and be most grateful to you for having re-done it.”

A Surprise Discovery

The journey of this iconic sweater took an unexpected turn when Joanna Osborne and Sally Muir, founders of Warm & Wonderful, stumbled upon it in their attic earlier this year. Their statement reflects the sentimental value and profound connection they share with this cherished piece: “While we are forever indebted to her for the impact this had on our business, our deepest appreciation lies in the knowledge that she shared a unique connection to the black sheep design. We are thrilled that this cherished sweater has now found a new home, carrying with it the enduring legacy of Princess Diana.”

A Fashion Triumph

The auction of Princess Diana’s black sheep sweater not only underscores the enduring appeal of her style but also celebrates the rich history and symbolism woven into this iconic fashion statement.

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