Saturday - 19 April 2014

Early Millais drawings found inside Led Zeppelin LP

09 August 2010Written by ATG Reporter

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 Thou Stream.

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 me!

In 1858, Millais was a runner-up in the Burns Centenary Poetry Competition, sponsored by the Directors of the Crystal Palace Company.

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. Home.

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.

Written by

ATG Reporter

Back to top