The original artwork used for the cover of Led Zeppelin's 1969 eponymous debut album will be auctioned through Christie's upcoming June sale.

Led Zeppelin's cover art was originally designed by George Hardie based from the iconic 1937 photograph of the Hindenburg disaster, taken by photohrapher Sam Shere. In an interview with Rolling Stone, Christie's senior specialist of Books and Manuscripts Peter Klarnet shared that the artwork is a unique item in terms of rarity. "I don't think you can get rarer than that," Klarnet added.

The artwork is currently estimated to fetch from $20,000 to $30,000.

"The historical significance of this album cover cannot be understated," the Christie's representative told Rolling Stone. He added that the artwork was a part of a "major turning point in the history of pop music, heralded by Led Zeppelin. "It was louder, bolder than what had come before and would come to define the shape of hard rock for generations."

Klarnet added that Hardie's take on the Hindenburg disaster over Lakehurst was a monument to the historic event and that his artwork "has endured in a way that most other album covers have not - it very much has taken on a life of its own."

Hardie created the artwork during his graduate studies at London's Royal College of Art after he was recommended to the band by his friend, photographer Stephen Goldblatt. It was band founder and guitarist Jimmy Page's idea to have Hardie work on the iconic Shere Hindenburg photograph, after the first cover art concepts didn't work out.

The now-iconic cover art for "Led Zeppelin" was made by stippling the original photo using tracing paper. Stippling involves generating an image by using small dots - giving a pixelated effect common in low-resolution publication images.

Supposedly, Led Zep just paid Hardie £60 for his artwork although when he recovered the stipple tracing work years later, there was a note to it that read "George's pension fund."

George Hardie then went to design studio album covers for other bands including Pink Floyd, Black Sabbath, and Wings. Hardie was a part of London-based art collective "Hipgnosis." Klarnet said that Hardie's work on the 1969 Led Zeppelin album helped him establish himself in the field. Klarnet added that while Hardie most probably thinks that it was just a simple tracing of an image.

"He managed to re-work it in a way that both evoked the past while simultaneously projecting what was to come," Klarnet said of Hardie's work. He added that the artwork's simplicity made it an "extremely powerful image," with people regarding it as transcending the original 1937 photograph.

Led Zeppelin's 1969 album was originally recorded in 1968 in London, before they signed a contract and Jimmy Page paid for the sessions. The self-produced album would go on to be successful in both the US and the UK, entering the top ten in their respective album charts. Only one single, "Good Time Bad Times," was released in promotion of the album since most of the tracks in the album were considered too long. However, the rise of album-oriented plays, plus the band's growing popularity, made it possible for radio stations to air the rest of the album.

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