The Notorious B.I.G.’s $6 plastic crown sells for nearly $600K

The Notorious B.I.G.'s $6 plastic crown sells for nearly $600K
Notorious B.I.G. aka Biggie Smalls performing at Meadowlands, New Jersey, 29 June 1995. (Photo credit: David Corio/Redferns via Bang Media)

The Notorious B.I.G.‘s plastic crown has sold for $594,750 at auction.

The novelty accessory was worn by the late hip-hop legend in his iconic photo shoot with Barron Claiborne, just three days before he was shot and killed in Los Angeles in 1997.


The crown went under the hammer at Sotheby’s hip-hop memorabilia auction in New York on Tuesday, Sept. 15, 2020.

And the auction house had expected the item to fetch between $200,000 and $300,000.


The headpiece has a retail price of just $6.

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 eye patch 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 programs and nonprofit Building Beats.

Cassandra Hatton, vice president and senior specialist in Sotheby’s Books & Manuscripts Department, had said of the sale in honor 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.”

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