Notorious B.I.G.'s crown, letters from Tupac Shakur going up for auction

Aug. 25 (UPI) -- Sotheby's has announced a new hip-hop auction featuring the late Notorious B.I.G.'s crown and high school love letters written by the late Tupac Shakur going up for sale.

The auction, which celebrates the history and cultural impact of hip-hop, is set to take place on Sept. 15 at Sotheby's New York. A dedicated exhibition for the auction will be on view by appointment from Sept. 11 to 15 and also available to view online.


Over 120 lots will be auctioned off including unique artifacts, jewelry and luxury items, rare posters and flyers, important publications and more.

The crown has an estimated price of $200 to $300,000 while the letters have an estimated price of $60 to $80,000.

The Notorious B.I.G. wore the crown during his K.O.N.Y. (King of New York) photoshoot session with photographer Barron Claiborne. This was the rapper's last recorded photoshoot before he was killed three days later in Los Angeles in 1997.

"After 23 years in my possession, I'm very excited to share this iconic piece of hip hop history with the public. With the tragic events that unfolded just days after the photoshoot, this image of a crowned Notorious B.I.G. became much more than a portrait - this image transformed Biggie Smalls into an aristocratic or saint like figure, forever immortalized as not only the King of New York, but a king of hip hop music and one of the greatest artists of all time," Claiborne said in a statement.


The collection of love letters were written by a 16-year-old Shakur for his high school sweetheart Kathy Loy. The collection includes a total of 42 pages on 24 sheets of paper and one greeting card.

The letters are signed by Shakur with terms of endearment, chronicle his relationship with Loy, make reference to his friend, Jada Pinkett Smith, and mention his home life living with his mother.

A portion of the proceeds will benefit the Queens Public Library Foundation to support their hip-hop programs as well as Building Beats, a non-profits organization that teaches tech, entrepreneurial and leadership skills to underserved youth through DJ and music programs.

Preview: Sotheby's 'The History and Impact of Hip Hop' auction

The crown worn by The Notorious B.I.G. during his K.O.N.Y. (King of New York) photo session with photographer Barron Claiborne in1997 is on display. Photo by John Angelillo/UPI | License Photo

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