Led Zeppelin Houses of the Holy album sleeve sells at auction for £15,000

An album sleeve signed by all four members of Led Zeppelin has sold for £15,000 at auction, despite not containing the actual record.

The cardboard sleeve of the 1973 album Houses of the Holy was only estimated to sell for between £1,200 and £1,800.

Items signed by all band members are rare, due to drummer John Bonham's 1980 death and the band's subsequent split.

The seller acquired the autographs during a chance encounter at Gatwick Airport in 1977

Despite missing its vinyl record, and also showing some light wear and tear to the corners and edges, the price achieved for the album sleeve is believed to be an auction record for signed copies of Houses of the Holy, the band's fifth studio album.

The cover was shot at the Giant's Causeway in County Antrim and is a collage of several photographs featuring two naked child models.

Andrew Smith, music and memorabilia specialist at Gildings Auctioneers in Market Harborough, Leicestershire, said: "We were thrilled to achieve this astonishing result for this set of Led Zeppelin autographs 50 years on from the original release of Houses of the Holy.

Led Zeppelin
Led Zeppelin - from left, John Paul Jones, Robert Plant, Jimmy Page and John Bonham - split in 1980 following Bonham's death

"Thanks to the extreme rarity of full sets of the band's signatures, this album cover represented a holy grail for collectors determined to own a very special piece of music memorabilia."

Fewer than 30 signed copies of Led Zeppelin albums are thought to exist.

This sleeve was signed when the band were returning to the UK for a break during a tour of America.

"The bidding did become more hesitant after hitting the £10,000 mark, but in the end a telephone bidder triumphed over the fierce competition online," said Mr Smith.

"This outstanding result is testament both to the value attached to fully signed Led Zeppelin memorabilia and the general strength of the market for autographed items."

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