The cardigan, which Cobain donned at a pre-In Utero photo session in the summer of 1993, more than doubled its pre-auction estimate of between $10,000 and $20,000, Julien’s Auctions said.
Pictures of Cobain wearing the sweater, captured by photographer Jesse Frohman, featured in the photobook Kurt Cobain: The Last Session.
“The shoot was meant to take place in Central Park in New York City, but due to Cobain being sick just hours before, the shoot was relocated to the basement of the hotel where the band was staying,” Julien’s Auctions noted of the item. “Cobain showed up three hours late to the shoot and immediately asked for a bucket due to his nausea.”
Courtney Love later gave the sweater to “an acquaintance” at Cobain’s funeral. It is unclear if that acquaintance was the sweater’s seller or if it changed hands since then.
In 2015, Cobain’s green cardigan from Nirvana’s MTV Unplugged performance sold for $137,000 at auction.
Nirvana’s handwritten setlist from an April 1990 concert in Washington, D.C., which Cobain wrote with black marker on a paper plate, sold for $23,000, more than 10 times its pre-auction estimate of $2,000. “Cobain had eaten some pizza before the show and proceeded to write the set list on the plate he had been eating his pizza on,” the auction house said of the item.
Other notable items from Julien’s Auctions’ Music Icons event Saturday included a black acoustic guitar used by Prince onstage and in promotional materials (winning bid $89,000), a black jacket that Michael Jackson wore to Nelson Mandela’s birthday party in 1996 ($76,000) and Bob Dylan’s handwritten and autographed lyrics to “Blowin’ in the Wind” ($70,000).
However, the original Universal Audio console used in Studio #2 of Bill Putnam’s Western Recorders Studios in Hollywood, California – used to record artists like the Beach Boys, Frank Sinatra, Crosby, Stills & Nash and more – earned the auction’s highest bid with $370,000.