Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Rare Millais Sketches Found in Led Zeppelin Record Sleeves

Former Led Zeppelin guitarist Jimmy Page is one of the world's best known collectors of Pre-Raphaelite art. But he nearly lost a handsome stash of sketches by John Everett Millais as the result of what appears to be an auction house mix-up. 

Apparently, four drawings by Millais were found tucked inside Led Zeppelin records that were due to be put up for auction. Interestingly, the records were actually owned by Rick Hobbs, who had worked for the band for a number of years. Originally, the auction house had believed that the sketches were a gift from Page to Hobbs, but the auction house was uncertain enough to withhold the items from the auction. 

Fortunately for art fans, the sketches have been well-preserved within the LP covers, and they are undamaged. Millais made the drawings in 1843 when he was just 14 years old and a student at the Royal Acadamy. Two of the sketches were inspired by the poetry of Robert Burns. One depicts a scene in Venice were a gondolier is singing to a lady from beneath a window, accompanied by a verse from Farewell Thou Stream "The music of thy voice I heard/Nor wist while it enslav'd me!/I saw thine eyes, yet nothing fear'd/Til fears no more had sav'd me!"

Amazing that the sketches remained hidden in those LP covers all these years!


willow said...

This is amazing. Just the kind of thing I always look for in vintage books and behind framed prints. Now I must add record albums to my list!

Castles Crowns and Cottages said...

WOW! What a once in a life-time find!!! And dear Margaret, how are you?Are you still in school? Thank you for coming to visit with me and having a Creamsicle moment!!!! Do come anytime for fun, French fashion, or whatever is on my mind! Best wishes to you as you get back to classes!!!! Anita

Hermes said...

My local paper has one of the images + an update Margaret. I always thought of Rossetti as more rock and roll!


Tracy said...

I LOVE this story... amazing! I'm a Millais fan and a Led Zeppelin fan! ;o) Happy Day, Margaret ((HUGS))

The Clever Pup said...

Hey Margaret,

I love this kind of story and my son is now a dyed in the wool Zeppelin fan. I like his taste in art. I like the comment you left over at Paris Breakfasts. I'm anticipating jet lag.

jron said...

thanks for the great story! It did inspire to make my latest 'comic':


Margaret said...

Thank you for all the great comments! I still think it's a little odd that Page somehow forgot that he'd put the sketches in record sleeves. Seriously, who would stick priceless drawings in an lp cover?

Hermes said...

Strange to us certainly Margaret, but he was ingesting a lot of strange chemicals when in Led Zepp.

ParisBreakfasts said...

WOW Is that amazing of what?
Odd because normally cardboard is not archival nor the best way surface to have against original drawings..a mystery here for sure!