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Kurt Cobain’s Unwashed Cardigan From MTV’s Unplugged Is Up For Auction

The sweater Kurt Cobain wore during Nirvana’s Unplugged is up for auction — and it’s never been washed.

Kurt Cobain memorabilia has become an industry unto itself. In March, the hospital gown the Nirvana frontman wore at Reading in 1992 went up for auction. Then in May, a paper plate off of which Kurt ate pizza sold at auction for $22,000. Now, the cardigan Kurt wore during Nirvana’s infamous MTV Unplugged performance is being put on the auction block — and what’s especially impressive (and a little gross) is that it’s never been washed.

That’s right: for what will no doubt be a substantial amount of money, you can smell Kurt Cobain’s body odor. According to Rolling Stone, Julien’s Auctions will be selling off the sweat to the highest bidder, stains and all. 

It’s very important that we don’t wash it,” said Darren Julien. The stains are still there. There’s even cigarettes burns that you can see on the sweater.”

This is the second time the sweater has been sold in the last five years. In 2015, the sweater — a Manhattan-brand garment described as a blend of acrylic, mohair and Lycra with five-button closure (one button absent), with two exterior pockets, a burn hole and discoloration near left pocket and discoloration on right pocket” — sold for $137,000.

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The current owner of the sweater, a businessman who wished to remain anonymous, has kept it stored in acid-free tissue paper; the auction house has done the same, as well as kept it in a plastic case. 

According to Julien, the auction of the sweater is par for the course, as historic rock’n’roll memorabilia has become an investment” rather than just items of personal importance for fans: 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.”

The sale of the sweater coincides with the 25th anniversary vinyl reissue of Nirvana’s Unplugged album, which will be released on November 1 and is available for preorder.

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Posted on October 9th 2019, 7:12p.m.
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