Led Zeppelin's authentic artwork for the cover of the rock band's 1969 eponymous debut album is set to be auctioned in June.
Designed by George Hardie, it was based on photographer Sam Shere's renowned 1937 picture of the Hindenburg disaster, depicting a Zeppelin turning into flames, reports aceshowbiz.com.
"In terms of rarity, this is a unique object - I don't think you can get rarer than that," Peter Klarnet, a senior specialist of the Books and Manuscripts department at auction house Christie's, told Rolling Stone.
Designed by Hardie
The piece was designed by Hardie during his student days at the Royal College of Art in London after his friend, the photographer Stephen Goldblatt, had suggested him to the band members.
It is reported that the band paid Hardie $75 for the piece. Hardie designed the album covers for bands such as Pink Floyd, Black Sabbath, and Wings.
An important historical moment
Klarnet said: "The historical significance of this album cover cannot be understated. It marked a major turning point in the history of pop music, heralded by the debut of Led Zeppelin. 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."