The original art for Led Zeppelin's debut LP
George Hardie, 1969
[HARDIE, George (b. 1944)]. A stipple tracing of the 1937 photograph of the Hindenburg disaster by Sam Shere, being the original artwork for the cover of Led Zeppelin's eponymously-titled debut LP, [London, 1969].

Stipple tracing with Rapidograph pen on a single sheet of tracing paper, 177 x 177mm, affixed to a larger sheet, 204 x 262mm (slight cockling, extremely faint spot).

The original artwork for the first Led Zeppelin LP: one of the most iconic album covers of all time. George Hardie was still a graduate student at the Royal College of Art when his friend, photographer Stephen Goldblatt recommended him to Led Zeppelin in 1969. After rejecting his initial ideas, Jimmy Page suggested that Hardie adapt Sam Shere's jarring 1937 photograph of the Hindenburg disaster. Hardie set to work rendering the image in stipple on tracing paper, evoking the feel of a low-resolution newsprint photo. Led Zeppelin paid Hardie £60 for his work on what has become one of the most recognizable album covers in the history of recording. The debut of Led Zeppelin in 1969 marked an important turning point in the history of popular music, and the cover art set the tone of what was to come: a profoundly influential body of work that has had a profound impact on subsequent generations of musical artists to the present time. Meanwhile, George Hardie graduated from the Royal College of Art in 1970 and went on to design album covers for Pink Floyd, Black Sabbath, Wings and numerous others—many in collaboration with Hipgnosis. Years later, he would rediscover the original stipple tracing with a note attached reading, "George's pension fund" (See Record Art, 1991, pp. 58-60). Provenance: George Hardie.
Sale Room Notice
Please note that the backing sheet has been signed in pencil by the artist, George Hardie.
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