A jumper worn by Diana, Princess of Wales is predicted to sell at auction for up to £70,000.
The famous red and white “black sheep” sweater, which had been lost for decades, is being offered at auction for the first time at Sotheby’s in New York on September 7.
Diana first wore the woollen jumper – with its black and white sheep motif – to a polo match of her fiance, 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 helped to catapult their brand into the public eye.
They said: “Much to our amazement, the first we knew of Lady Diana Spencer wearing the sweater was when we saw her on the front page of one of the Sunday newspapers.
“Her influence was impactful almost immediately thereafter, leading to a surge in sales and public awareness of our small label, for which we will be forever grateful.”
A few weeks after its first appearance, the pair received an official letter from Buckingham Palace requesting either a repair or a replacement for the sweater as it had been damaged.
They knitted a new sweater for the late princess, but the whereabouts of the original remained unknown until they rediscovered it in March this year in their attic, tucked away in a small box beside a cotton bedspread.
Warm & Wonderful stopped producing the black sheep style in 1994, but it was reissued in 2020 as a collaboration with the brand Rowing Blazer.
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.
Meanwhile, a sweater of the same design is part of the permanent collection of London’s Victoria and Albert Museum.
Sotheby’s is offering the original sweater as part of its inaugural Fashion Icons sale which will run during New York Fashion week from August 31 to September 13.
The auction house holds the record for the most valuable Diana dress ever sold – an aubergine ball dress which was bought for 604,800 dollars (around £474,870) in January 2023.
It also sold Diana’s Attallah Cross to Kim Kardashian in the Royal and Noble auction in London in January for £163,800.
Speaking about the jumper, Sotheby’s global head of fashion and accessories Cynthia Houlton said: “This exceptional garment, meticulously preserved, carries the whispers of Princess Diana’s grace, charm, and her keen eye for fashion.”