Biggie's Crown Smashes Auction Estimates

Sells for nearly 100K times what the photographer paid
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 16, 2020 3:02 AM CDT
Biggie's Crown Sells for 100K Times What It Cost
This photo, provided by Sotheby's, shows the crown worn and signed by rapper Notorious B.I.G. during a 1997 photo shoot, three days before he was killed in Los Angeles. The item is up for auction at Sotheby's, the first-ever dedicated hip-hop auction at a major international auction house.   (Sotheby's via AP)

The crown that the Notorious B.I.G. wore in his last photo shoot, three days before his death, cost $6 in 1997. On Tuesday night, it sold for nearly 100,000 times that amount, the New York Post reports. The plastic crown, purchased by photographer Barron Claiborne, was auctioned off by Sotheby's and fetched $594,750, which includes taxes and fees. That's nearly twice the highest end of the $200,000-$300,000 pre-auction estimate. Claiborne says the novelty item was inspired by one of Biggie Smalls' many other nicknames, the King of New York, and Sean "Puffy" Combs, who was at the shoot, almost kept the shot from happening: "He said it would make Biggie look like Burger King. But Biggie didn’t listen. He wore it anyway." CNN reports the rapper also signed the crown. (More Notorious B.I.G. stories.)

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