Notorious B.I.G’s Iconic Crown Sold For More Than Half A Million Dollars

by : Niamh Shackleton on : 16 Sep 2020 13:01
Notorious B.I.G's Iconic Crown Sold For More Than Half A Million DollarsNotorious B.I.G's Iconic Crown Sold For More Than Half A Million DollarsBaron Claiborne/Sotheby's

The crown Notorious B.I.G wore in the famous King of New York photo has been sold for almost $600,000 at auction.

The late rapper wore the accessory in the photograph taken by Barron Claiborne in 1997, which was his last ever photo shoot. The plastic crown was apparently signed by the rapper, too.

Biggie, real name Christopher George Latore Wallace, was shot dead at the age of 24 when leaving a Soul Train Music Awards afterparty just days after the photo was taken.


Yesterday, September 15, the iconic plastic crown sold for $594,750 at Sotheby’s in New York. The sale exceeded the auction’s original estimates of $200,000 to $300,000.

Notorious BIGNotorious BIGPA Images

Vice president of Sotheby’s books and manuscripts department, Cassandra Hatton, told Reuters:

I think that crown is one of the most recognizable symbols of hip hop, 20th century culture. Everybody around the world recognizes this crown. You see it on T-shirts. You see it on coffee cups and prayer candles. It’s huge.


Biggie’s crown wasn’t the only items to be sold that once belonged to a 90s hip-hop icon; love letters penned by the late Tupac Shakur were also up for grabs.

PA Images

The notes were written by a teenage Tupac to a fellow student at the Baltimore School for the Arts, and were described by the auction house as ‘incredibly sweet and at times steamy’. These sold yesterday for $75,600, though it wasn’t revealed who Tupac wrote the letters to.

Hatton described the letters and Biggie’s crown as an ‘introspective look, in their own way, at the personalities behind their respective public personas.’


She continued:

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.

Allstar/Lions Gate

Also sold at yesterday’s auction was a pair of Salt-N-Pepa ‘Push It’ jackets for $19,000, Slick Rick’s diamond eye patch for $5,000, as well as a Supreme x Louis Vuitton hoodie for $4,800.


If you’re a 90s hip hop fan and have some cash to splash, you definitely should have been at yesterday’s auction.

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Niamh Shackleton

Niamh Shackleton is a pint sized person and journalist at UNILAD. After studying Multimedia Journalism at the University of Salford, she did a year at Caters News Agency as a features writer in Birmingham before deciding that Manchester is (arguably) one of the best places in the world, and therefore moved back up north. She's also UNILAD's unofficial crazy animal lady.

Topics: Celebrity, Auction, King of New York, Music, The Notorious B.I.G., Tupac Shakur


CNN and 1 other
  1. CNN

    Notorious B.I.G.'s plastic crown sells at auction for almost $600K

  2. Complex

    Notorious B.I.G.'s 'King of New York' Crown Sells for Nearly $600,000 at Auction