"The crown — sold by photographer Barron Claiborne, who shot the iconic Rap Pages cover just three days before Biggie’s March 9th, 1997 death — well exceeded its pre-auction estimate of $200,000 to $300,000. The item was autographed by both the rapper and the photographer and included three prints from the photoshoot.
“This crown is a novelty item; I bought it at a place on Broadway called Gordon’s,” Claiborne told the New York Post. “Without Biggie, the crown would not be worth [six figures]. I only paid six bucks for it.”
As Sotheby’s noted of the item, the famed image of B.I.G. almost didn’t happen, as Bad Boy Records head Sean “Puff Daddy” Combs complained that the cheap crown would make Biggie look like “the Burger King.” “Biggie was open to the idea, resulting in one of the most recognizable images in hip-hop culture and one of the most famous hip-hop portraits ever taken,” Sotheby’s said."