Led Zeppelin, Robert Burns and a 14-year-old John Everett Millais might seem unlikely bedfellows. But a group of four pencil drawings which have surfaced at the Devon auctioneers Chilcotts of Tiverton appear to link the three.
The drawings are by the Pre-Raphaelite artist John Everett
Millais (1829 -1896) and all dated May 1843, making him a
precociously talented teenager.
They were discovered tucked inside Led Zep LP covers in the home
of the man who for many years was the group's roadie and chauffeur.
When the man died earlier this year, band members travelled
secretly to attend his funeral in Devon and it is likely the
drawings had been gifts from them for his devoted service.
This Venetian scene with a gondolier serenading a lady at a
window above is an illustration of Robert Burns' poem Farewell
Beneath the drawing is an extract from the poem, which reads
The music of thy voice I heard/Nor wist while it enslav'd me!/I
saw thine eyes, yet nothing fear'd/Till fears no more had sav'd
In 1858, Millais was a runner-up in the Burns Centenary Poetry
Competition, sponsored by the Directors of the Crystal Palace
This drawing and one of the others, which shows a crusading
knight leaving his love and illustrates verse four of the Burns
poem Ae Fond Kiss, are inscribed Presented to Miss A.
The two further drawings in the group are a garden scene with a
young woman and two suitors, and a battle scene with a mounted
Cavalier fighting two mounted Roundheads.
The four drawings will be sold as one lot at Chilcotts' sale on
August 14, with an estimate of £2000-3000.