Princess Diana’s iconic black sheepskin sweater is going up for auction

diana, princess of wales 1961 1997 wearing a black sheepskin wool sweater by the warm and wonderful muir osborne at windsor polo, june 1981 photo by tim graham photo library via getty images

Princess Diana’s sheepskin sweater at auctionTim Graham

After the original was thought to be lost, the black sheepskin sweater worn by Princess Diana, arguably as iconic of her style as the “Revenge Dress”, will be auctioned by Sotheby’s New York from August 31 to September 14 from This year. The sweater will be part of the inaugural fashion icons auction and is expected to fetch between $50,000 and $80,000.

The princess was first seen wearing the red and white jumper aged 19 at a King Charles polo match, just a month before their wedding. It was only revealed to the sweater’s designers, Sally Muir and Joanna Osborne of Warm & Wonderful, that Princess Diana owned one of their products after photos of the events circulated from the Sunday Times. The power of the press propelled Warm & Wonderful, then a small company, to stratospheric popularity.

princess diana black sheep sweater

Slight tear in the original sweater worn by Princess Diana in 1981. Courtesy of Sotheby’s

“Princess Diana’s wardrobe often pushed the boundaries of societal norms at the time and had a unique way of transcending her personality to the public,” said Cynthia Houlton, global head of fashion and accessories at Sotheby’s. GTC. “The second she was captured putting on that sweater, it immediately sparked a conversation among the media and general public, speculating what message she was trying to send to the world.”

In 1983, the two designers received a letter from Buckingham Palace explaining that Princess Diana had damaged her original sheepskin sweater and requested that it be repaired or replaced. A fully knitted sweater was sent to her, and Muir and Osborne received a letter of thanks from Princess Diana’s private secretary, Oliver Everett CVO. Shortly after, Princess Diana wore the jumper again, this time with white jeans, a large white collar and a black ribbon tie.

diane, princess of wales 1961 1997 with major ronald ferguson 1931 2003 during a polo match at smiths law, guards polo club, windsor, june 1983 diana wears black muir and osborne sheepskin sweater photo by princess diana archivegetty pictures

Princess Diana wearing the black sheepskin sweater for the second time at a polo match in 1983. Princess Diana Archive

Production of the sweater ceased in 1994 but the brand reissued the design in 2020 in collaboration with the Rowing Blazers. The same year, a replica of the sweater was also worn by Emma Corrin in the fourth season of The crown. The whereabouts of the original sweater worn by Diana in 1981 was unknown until last March; it had been hidden in a small box in the original designers’ attic.

Although whimsical and light in appearance, the sweater’s black sheepskin design may have foreshadowed and then signaled Princess Diana’s relationship with the royal family. Considering the restrained life the royal lived after her marriage, it’s safe to assume that although the first time she donned a black shearling jumper may have been coincidental, the second time, two years into his royal life, was not.

“As one of the most photographed women of all time, she made a firm decision to wear this design not once, but twice in public – further alluding to the fact that it was a deeply personal post for ‘the people’s princess,'” Houlton said.

Online auctions are open from August 31 to September 13, and the sweater will be on display in New York starting September 7. For more information, visit

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