Notorious B.I.G. plastic crown sells for $600K at auction+pics

The signed crown was a plastic prop from a party shop that was worn by the rapper Notorious B.I.G. in the iconic 1997 "King of New York" photograph, three days before his death.

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Notorious B.I.G.'s plastic crown sells at auction for almost $600K. A crown adorned with plastic jewels, famously worn by Notorious B.I.G. during his last ever photo shoot, sold for $594,750 at Sotheby's in New York on Tuesday evening

Auctioneers had estimated the piece to be valued between $200,000 and $300,000, but it was proved to be worth a lot more to a number of bidders.


The crown, adorned with plastic jewels, had been signed by Biggie just days before his passing in 1997.

Biggies crown was just one piece of a collection of hip-hop memorabilia auctioned off by Sotheby’s in their sale on Tuesday evening.

Other pieces included the ‘Push It’ jackets worn by Salt-N-Pepa in a Superbowl commercial, a diamond eyepatch worn by Slick Rick, and a five-piece drum set used by Questlove.


Letters written from a young Tupac Shakur to a fellow Baltimore School for the Arts student sold for $75,600.

Biggie’s crown was put up for sale by photographer Barron Claiborne, who styled the rapper for his ‘King of New York’ photoshoot with Rap Pages magazine.

According to Sotheby’s, Sean ‘Diddy’ Combs was also present at the iconic photoshoot, and expressed concerns at the time that the crown would make Biggie look like ‘the Burger King’.


‘With the tragic events that unfolded just days after the photoshoot, this image of a crowned Notorious B.I.G. became much more than a portrait — the image transformed Biggie Smalls into an aristocratic or saint-like figure, forever immortalized as not only the King of New York but a king of hip hop music and one of the greatest artists of all time,’ said Mr Claiborne in a statement about the piece.

A portion of the proceeds from the Sotheby’s sale will be donated to a number of charities including New York’s Queens Public Library Foundation, which holds hip hop community programs.



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