The olive green sweater Kurt Cobain wore during Nirvana’s MTV Unplugged performance in 1993 just sold for a record-breaking $334,000 at Julien’s Auctions’ “Icons & Idols: Rock ‘N’ Roll” over the weekend.
The iconic piece of clothing is now the most expensive sweater ever auctioned, The Guardian reports.
For Nirvana fans, the seemingly simple cardigan holds a great deal of sentiment — the band’s legendary MTV Unplugged live tapping at Sony Music Studios in New York City marked one of Cobain’s last performance ever. He died by suicide on April 5, 1994 at age 27.
Cobain’s widow, Courtney Love, reportedly gave the clothing item to close family friend Jackie Farry after his death. Then, in November 2015, it was auctioned off to a businessman for $137,500. He reportedly kept it stored in “acid-free tissue in a safe,” according to Rolling Stone.
Sold for the second time, the special piece remains stained and unwashed. It’s a blend of acrylic, mohair and Lycra, and features two exterior pockets, a burn hole and discoloration near the pockets, according to the Julien’s Auctions listing.
Like the first time it was auctioned off, this purchase included a note signed by Farry. Julien’s Auctions announced the purchase on Oct. 26, Tweeting, “SOLD for $334,000! A vintage cardigan sweater worn by Kurt Cobain during Nirvana’s MTV Unplugged performance in 1993,” alongside a screenshot of the handwritten letter.
“In August of 1992 I became the first nanny for Frances Bean, as well as the personal assistant to both Kurt Cobain and Courtney Love,” the letter beings. “During the next few years I returned to take care of Frances, including the period leading up to Kurk’s awful untimely death. Shortly after he died, Courtney gave me this sweater, the one he wore during the MTV Unplugged Performance. It has been in my possession ever since.”
“Rock & roll memorabilia has become an investment,” Darren Julien of Julien’s Auctions told Rolling Stone earlier this month. “It’s not just a collector’s market — it’s an investor’s market. The person that bought the sweater in 2015 bought it as an investment. Now, because we’ve been getting record prices for Kurt Cobain, people are starting to sell it. We anticipate that it will sell for more than double. I call it the new fine art market. People are investing more.”
“It’s very important that we don’t wash it,” Julien added. “The stains are still there. There’s even cigarette burns that you can see on the sweater.”