Guitar Aficionado

The Rolling Stones' 'Let It Bleed' Cover Artwork Up For Sale


Bonham's in London is reporting that the original cover artwork for Let It Bleed, the Rolling Stones album which has been described as one of the greatest covers of all times, is a highlight of Bonhams next Entertainment Memorabilia auction on Thursday 15th December 2011 at Bonhams, Knightsbridge, London. It is estimated to sell for £30,000-40,000, or roughly $47,000 to $62,500.

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December 2011 is the 42nd anniversary of the release of Let It Bleed. Recorded at Olympic Studios in London over a period of some months, it was released in the UK on 5th December 1969 and went to No. 1 in the album chart and No. 3 in the U.S. It was the last album that Brian Jones worked on and the first to feature his replacement, Mick Taylor.

In 1969, Keith Richards commissioned his close friend Robert Brownjohn to design the now-iconic cover for Let It Bleed. It displays a surreal sculpture made by Brownjohn, and in the background is a cake with garish icing and the band itself in the form of wedding cake-style topping figures, which was made by then unknown celebrity chef Delia Smith. She was instructed by Brownjohn to create a cake and has recalled that "...They wanted it to be very over-the-top and as gaudy as I could make it."

The album cover was one of ten chosen by the Royal Mail for inclusion in its set of Classic Album Covers stamps, issued in January 2010. Let It Bleed is widely regarded to be the best Stones' album and the cover has been named as one of the greatest album covers of all time. In 2005 it was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame.

Stephanie Connell, Head of Entertainment Memorabilia, comments, "Let It Bleed was one of the first albums I bought—I am a huge fan of the Rolling Stones so it is really exciting to be able to offer the artwork for this iconic design. We expect there to be a lot of interest from Stones' fans around the globe."

The sale also includes a Martin 000-28 EC Eric Clapton signature model acoustic guitar, used by Clapton for recording "Change the World" and the Pilgrim album, an autographed black/gold label pressing of the Beatles' debut album, Please Please Me, a Jimi Hendrix jacket/cape and a whole host of TV and film memorabilia.