One of the world’s most elite auction houses, Sotheby’s is no stranger to seeing items of extreme cultural or historical significance cross its auction block. Nonetheless, the outfit’s latest announcement takes things in a decidedly novel direction, even for Sotheby’s, as the company prepares to host the upcoming Hip Hop sale on September 15.
The sale celebrates the significant role the music genre has played in pop culture over the last few decades. As such it includes some wildly noteworthy lots, such as a collection of love letters penned by a 16-year-old Tupac Shakur (estimated to fetch between $60-$80K), a few years prior to the release of his debut album, 2Pacalypse Now. The most significant item for sale’s the crown worn by the Notorious BIG in the iconic 1997 “King of New York” (KoNY) photoshoot — which happened three days prior to his death, making this the last recorded photoshoot of the legendary rapper. Included in the sale are several prints from said shoot and a contact sheet (all signed by Biggie), expected to bring in between $200,000 and $300,000. A portion of the proceeds will also benefit the Queens Public Library Foundation’s Hip Hop Programs, and the Building Beats community and after school program.