Kurt Cobain's Unwashed Sweater Goes to Auction

13:30 October 23, 2019
By: Christian Willbern

Happen to have $200,000 lying around? Spend that money on a cigarette-burned piece of Rock n' Roll History. Kurt Cobain's unwashed, green cardigan he wore for Nirvana's 1994 MTV Unplugged is hitting the auction block October 25th-26th, according to Rolling Stone.

The sweater, "a blend of acrylic, mohair, and Lycra with a five-button closure (one button absent) with two exterior pockets, a burn hole and discoloration near left pocket and discoloration on right pocket," also comes with a handwritten letter from Frances Bean Cobain's nanny who was gifted with the sweater following Cobain's death in April 1994, according to Julien's website.

Darien Julien of Julien's Auctions admitted an anonymous businessman currently owns the sweater. Although the current owner is a Kurt Cobain fan, he planned on re-auctioning the sweater. "He said it was an investment and that he would come back [to Julien's] at some point in time when the time was right," Julien said to Rolling Stone.

The time was right. In 2015, the sweater sold for $137,500, surpassing the $60,000 pre-auction estimate. Now, to even get your foot in the door, you must set a minimum bid of $200,000. However, that price amount has already been matched. The cardigan is expected to reach $300,000 in bids.

"Rock & Roll memorabilia has become an investment. 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 and more in pop culture, especially rock & roll. It's a way to diversify their portfolios," Julien said to Rolling Stone.

Earlier this year, the California-based auction house added a piece to the "new fine art market" by auctioning a paper plate Cobain used for $2,000. The plate "raked in 11 times more than expected, with a winning bid of $22,400," according to Vice.

The upcoming auction, Julien's Live Icons and Idols auction will also feature Cobain's custom-made Fender Mustang guitar. The turquoise guitar with red mottled pickguard also comes with a letter from Courtney Love, stating the instrument was one of Cobain's favorites. According to Rolling Stone, the instrument is estimated to sell between "$300,000 to $500,000."

The two-day auction also features one of Bob Dylan's signed harmonicas, Ginger Baker's used drumstick, and much more. So, if you have internet and extra disposable income, you should check out Julien's auction. You might just win something as weird as a used paper plate.

Photo courtesy of Hermoso Kurt, source, Licensed under Creative Commons 2.0

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