Original Led Zeppelin Debut Album Art Sold for £260K at Auction
Update: According to The Daily Mail, The artist who designed the iconic cover for Led Zeppelin's debut album has sold the original tracing of the famous image for £260,000 (approximately $323,650). Designer George Hardie was initially paid just £60 to produce his version of photographer Sam Shere's image of the Hindenburg Zeppelin airship on fire in 1937 for the cover of Led Zeppelin's self-titled 1969 album.
The artwork for Led Zeppelin self-titled 1969 debut album is set to go up for auction in June.
The biding, which is being hosted by the Christie's auction house, starts on June 2 and closes on June 18 and is estimated to bring in between $20,000 and $30,000 per Rolling Stone.
The iconic album cover was created by George Hardie, who was a member of the London-based Hipgnosis art design group. The image is a stipple — a drawing technique that uses small dots — that was created when Hardie traced photographer Sam Shere's original photograph on the Hindenburg disaster that took place in 1937. Arguably, Led Zeppelin's album cover is more well-known than that original photo.
"The historical significance of this album cover cannot be understated," Peter Klarnet, Christie’s senior specialist of Books and Manuscripts, told Rolling Stone.
"It marked a major turning point in the history of pop music, heralded by the debut of Led Zeppelin," he continued, adding, "It was louder, bolder than what had come before and would come to define the shape of hard rock for generations. This simple rendering of the Hindenburg exploding over Lakehurst stands as a monument to that important historical moment. And the image has endured in a way that most other album covers have not — it very much has taken on a life of its own."
Other memorable album covers Hardie has contributed are Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon and Wish You Were Here as well as Black Sabbath's Technical Ecstasy.
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