THE NOVELTY accessory was worn by the late hip-hop legend in his iconic photoshoot with Barron Claiborne, just three days before he was shot and killed in Los Angeles in 1997, writes www.music-news.com.
The website reports that the crown went under the hammer at Sotheby’s hip-hop memorabilia auction in New York on September 15 and the auction house had expected the item to fetch between £155,000 and £232,000.
The headpiece has a retail price of just £4.65.
Claiborne told the New York Post: “This crown is a novelty item; I bought it at a place on Broadway called Gordon’s. Without Biggie, the crown would not be worth [six figures]. I only paid six bucks for it.”
Elsewhere, 22 letters written by the late Tupac Shakur to his high school sweetheart, Slick Rick’s diamond-encrusted eyepatch and Salt-N-Pepa’s jackets worn in their Push It music video also went under the hammer.
Some of the money raised will go to Queens Public Library hip hop programmes and non-profit Building Beats.
Vice President and senior specialist in Sotheby’s Books & Manuscripts Department, Cassandra Hatton, had said of the sale in honour of hip-hop:
“Since its birth in the Bronx in the 1970s, hip hop has become a global cultural force, whose massive influence continues to shape all realms of culture: music, fashion, design, art, film, social attitudes, language, and more.
“This sale is a celebration of the origins and early eras of that influence. We are pleased to announce the auction with two renowned and beloved icons whose lives and lyricism continue to resonate — Biggie and Tupac — with lots that offer an introspective look, in their own way, at the personalities behind their respective public personas.”