A Led Zeppelin album autographed by all four members of the band has sold at auction for £15,000, without the actual vinyl record being included.
The album sleeve sold at the Gildings Music, Vinyl & Memorabilia auction in Market Harborough last week. Andrew Smith, Gildings’ music and memorabilia specialist, described the item as "a holy grail for collectors" since it's believed that less than 30 albums signed by Robert Plant, Jimmy Page, John Paul Jones and John Bonham are thought to exist in the world. Even so, the sleeve was expected to fetch between £1,200 and £1,800 at auction, significantly less than the closing price, which came via a telephone bid.
The original owner of the Houses of the Holy album got the sleeve signed after running into the band at Gatwick Airport in 1977.
Andrew Smith said: "We were thrilled to achieve this astonishing result for this set of Led Zeppelin autographs fifty years on from the original release of Houses of the Holy. 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.
"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. With this set of signatures coming from a chance meeting with the band members, it just goes to show that in this day and age if you spot a celebrity, you should ask for an autograph, not a selfie!"
At the same auction on August 31, a copy of Zeppelin’s The Song Remains The Same live album signed by Jimmy Page, sold for a more modest £420.