Lady Diana Spencer wore the red “black sheep” jumper during a polo match in 1981, before her marriage to the now King, then Prince Charles. It was discovered in an attic by designer Joanna Osborne and authenticated based on various distinctive details and a photo match.
Princess Diana’s iconic black sheep jumper has fetched a staggering $1.14m (£920,000) in a Sotheby’s auction in New York.
The red jumper, famously worn by Diana at a polo match in June 1981 shortly after her engagement, far exceeded its estimated value of $50,000 to $80,000 (£40,000 to £70,000).
Discovered in an attic in March by designer Joanna Osborne, the sweater features a whimsical black sheep among white ones and is among the initial designs by Osborne and Sally Muir for Warm and Wonderful knitwear, which was founded in 1979.
The winning bidder’s identity remains undisclosed.
Sotheby’s described the sweater as featuring a “whimsical black and white sheep motif” and said it was among the pioneering creations by the knitwear brand.
The Sotheby’s catalogue note says: “Worn by Diana Spencer in 1981 to a polo match of Prince Charles.
“This lot includes two official letters, written in 1981, from Buckingham Palace to Warm and Wonderful politely explaining the jumper had been damaged and requested either a repair or replacement.
“Warm and Wonderful sent her a replacement sweater that she wore in 1983 to another polo match.”
Sotheby’s added: “Further investigation convinced the team: the damaged cuff, the shape, the single sheep at the shoulders, tiny variations in the sheep’s eyes which were individually sewn on…”