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Biggie's Crown Smashes Auction Estimates

Newser — Evann Gastaldo

The crown that the Notorious B.I.G. wore in his last photo shoot, three days before his death, cost $6 in 1997. On Tuesday night, it sold for nearly 100,000 times that amount, the New York Post reports.

The plastic crown, purchased by photographer Barron Claiborne, was auctioned off by Sotheby's and fetched $594,750, which includes taxes and fees. That's nearly twice the highest end of the $200,000-$300,000 pre-auction estimate.

Claiborne says the novelty item was inspired by one of Biggie Smalls' many other nicknames, the King of New York, and Sean "Puffy" Combs, who was at the shoot, almost kept the shot from happening: "He said it would make Biggie look like Burger King. But Biggie didn’t listen. He wore it anyway." CNN reports the rapper also signed the crown.

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