Princess Diana: Famous black sheep sweater found in attic, set to sell for more than $130,000

A black sheep sweater that became a fashion sensation when it was worn by Princess Diana could fetch more than £70,000 ($132,666) at auction.

The jumper, stored in an attic for almost four decades, features rows of white sheep with a single black one.

It sparked worldwide speculation over whether this resonated with the princess due to her complex and, at times, isolated relationship with the Royal Family.

Copycat imitations appeared and a replica was shown in the fourth season of Netflix drama The Crown, worn by actress Emma Corrin.

The newly-engaged Lady Diana Spencer first wore the “statement sweater” in June 1981 while watching Prince Charles at a polo match.

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The hand-knitted wool jumper was one of the first pieces created by Sally Muir and Joanna Osborne for their British label Warm & Wonderful.

Ms Osborne 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 newspaper.”

A few weeks after that, Warm & Wonderful received a letter from Buckingham Palace explaining that Diana had damaged her jumper and wanted a replacement.

A new sweater was knitted and the designers got a thank-you letter from Diana, who died in 1997 in a Paris car crash.

But the original item, returned by the palace, was forgotten about.

Ms Muir explained: “In March, as we were rummaging through the attic searching for an old pattern, we spotted a small box. Inside was Diana’s original red, sheep sweater.”

The item will appear at Sotheby’s Fashion Icons sale this September with online bidding opening from August 31.

It has a guide price of £40,000 ($75,809) to £70,000 ($132,666).

Cynthia Houlton, from the auctioneers, said: “This garment carries the whispers of Princess Diana’s grace, charm and her keen eye for fashion.”

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