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MrZoSo

Holy Lotta Art

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By Tim Walker

Thursday, 13 March 2008

jimmy-page-tap.jpg

When rock stars reach the top of their game, they are prone to making extravagant purchases. And when they've come back down to earth, there's a place for them to dispose of the swag – art auctions. Next week, The Quest for the Holy Grail: the Achievement, a tapestry by Pre-Raphaelite artist Edward Burne-Jones, will go under the hammer at Sotheby's. The masterpiece is expected to fetch £1m and its vendor is none other than Jimmy Page, guitarist in the recently reformed Led Zeppelin.

Page purchased it 30 years ago when the band's original line-up was enjoying its decadent final months. The depiction of the Arthurian knights Galahad, Bors and Percival finally getting their gauntlets on the Holy Grail probably tickled the same sensibilities that produced the more portentous moments of the album Led Zeppelin IV.

But where, one might ask, did the drug-addled Page imagine he might hang the 24ft by 8ft tapestry? Perhaps it's taken him three decades to work out that it doesn't quite fit above the headboard in the master bedroom. In fact, the silver-haired double-neck axe-wielder is extremely fond of Pre-Raphaelite painting, and has a considerable collection of similar works, including five stained-glass panels by Burne-Jones, which will also feature in the sale on 20 March.

The tapestry is the star buy in an auction of the best of 19th and 20th-century British design, organised by Sotheby's in conjunction with antiques specialist – and Lovejoy to the stars – Paul Reeves. He boasts a client list that includes Page, Bob Dylan, Barbra Streisand and Brad Pitt. Among the 130-plus lots in the Sotheby's sale will be pieces from the collection of Spandau Ballet's Gary Kemp.

The public is granted an audience at Sotheby's in Bond Street, London, from tomorrow. Head-banging or moshing will be discouraged.

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Thanks for the info. I really like the art on it.

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Someone has to pay for that illuminated Led Zeppelin backdrop at the 02 Arena concert. Actually, it's not unusual at all for a man of 64 to start liquidating his various collections. You may recall Eric Clapton sold off most of his guitars not long ago, with some of the proceeds going to charity.

Yes but, Jimmy is not one to sell things of this nature, as you know. I seriously doubt he will ever sell any of his guitars.

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Yes but, Jimmy is not one to sell things of this nature, as you know. I seriously doubt he will ever sell any of his guitars.

He probably wouldn't sell his guitars and gear but I can relate to wanting to scale some stuff down a bit. Maybe he's just moving into a different chapter of his life... good for him

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Not Jimmy at 34, but perhaps now.

What good is a tapestry you have no room to display? He'll let someone else enjoy it.

He did sell off a number of guitars in the 70s but those were nothing special, really.

It would be special for me to have a "nothing special" guitar of Jimmy Page from the 70's.

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It would be special for me to have a "nothing special" guitar of Jimmy Page from the 70's.

True that! I suppose unless he wrote the serial numbers down we'll never know where

those guitars are now.

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Guitar god runs out of space for £1m tapestry

Maev Kennedy

Saturday March 15, 2008

The Guardian

Even Jimmy Page, the Led Zeppelin guitarist who like God has many mansions, has finally run out of wall space. His gigantic Pre-Raphaelite tapestry, designed by Burne-Jones and woven at William Morris's workshop, has been rolled up and in storage for years, and will now be sold by Sotheby's, estimated at up to £1m.

It is over seven metres long, the climactic vision of the Holy Grail from what was originally a set of six monumental tapestries of scenes from Arthurian legend. Morris described them as "our largest and most important work", and they took three weavers two years to complete. The tapestry was last seen in public at the V&A museum's exhibition on William Morris, when Page was between houses: he sold the Windsor mansion where it hung in the billiard room, then bought the house back again, and has now sold it again. He also owns the eccentric 13th century-style Tower House in Kensington, designed by William Burges, but has apparently run out of space there too.

He has now bought another Thames Valley mansion, designed by the architect Edwin Lutyens with a Gertrude Jekyll garden, but as his friend and art dealer Paul Reeves explained yesterday, that has wood-panelled walls - so he couldn't possibly hang the tapestry.

Page has had one of the most expensive rock god habits, of collecting museum-quality Pre-Raphaelite and Arts and Crafts pieces, for decades. Reeves, who was a star-struck teenager the first time he met Page backstage at a Led Zeppelin concert in California in the 1960s, says it wasn't just the art which appealed in the Summer of Love. "The Bohemian lifestyles of the artists themselves were absolutely in tune with the zeitgeist of our own times," he said.

In the same auction next week Page is selling some Burne-Jones stained glass panels, a gigantic set of Arthurian round table and chairs, and two sideboards big enough to convert into bunk beds.

The tapestry has only been sold twice before, on both occasions by Sotheby's, once by the heirs of the original owner, and then when Page bought it from the heirs of the Duke of Westminster.

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The tapestry didn't sell. Bidding didn't reach the reserve price.

The economy must really be tanking... :blink:

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GUARDIAN

March 26th 2008

WALTHAMSTOW: William Morris tapestry fails to sell at auction

By Sarah Cosgrove

Part of Sir Edward Burne-Jones' tapestry

A TAPESTRY made in William Morris's workshop and owned by Led Zeppelin guitarist Jimmy Page went under the hammer at Sotheby's.

The Pre-Raphelite work, by Sir Edward Burne-Jones, which was expected to sell for £1 million was auctioned but did not reach its reserve price.

But other work by Burne-Jones, as well as pieces by Morris himself and Frank Brangwyn did sell at the famous Bond Street auction house.

A set of five stunning stained glass panels, also by Burne-Jones, sold for several times more than the estimated value of between £25,000 and £35,000 each, one going for £84,000.

A decorative fire screen by Morris sold for £2,500 and a rare sofa by Frank Brangwyn, whose gift to the people of Walthamstow makes up the major part of the William Morris Gallery in Forest Road, Walthamstow, was exhibited and not auctioned but sold separately for an unknown sum.

For now the 24ft-long tapestry, called The Attainment: The Vision of the Holy Grail to Sir Galahad, Sir Bors and Sir Perceval, will stay as part of rock star Mr Page's collection.

advertisementIt was woven for Stanmore Hall in Middlesex in 1893 and Mr Page is only its third owner - he bought it himself at auction in 1978.

Burne Jones was a lifelong friend of Walthamstow-born William Morris after they bonded over a shared love of poetry at Oxford University, and he was persuaded to become an artist by the younger man.

He studied under Dante Gabrielle Rossetti, was influenced by John Ruskin and was largely responsible for bringing the Pre-Raphelites into the mainstream of the British art world.

The 24m-wide weave is considered to be a seminal work of the Arts and Crafts movement. It was the star item in a sale of more than 130 lots in a showcase stretching from the Gothic revival of the 1840s through to post-war design of the 1960s.

A spokeswoman at the famous Bond Street auction house said she could not say if it would go on sale again.

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In every picture of this tapestry that I have seen there is a rectangular area in the lower right corner that is cut out. Anyone know why that is? Inquiring minds and all......

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In every picture of this tapestry that I have seen there is a rectangular area in the lower right corner that is cut out. Anyone know why that is? Inquiring minds and all......

Moths?

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Moths?

According to the Sotheby's web site the reason for the cut out:

"This panel was therefore designed and woven especially to fit around the architrave of the Stanmore Hall dining room doorway. All the tapestries were intended to be seen above eye level, and the other panels surmounted five-foot high verdures inscribed with details of the scenes. No explanatory verdure was deemed necessary to heighten the drama of the final `Attainment' scene, however, and the effect of the cutaway over the door provides an emotionally charged visual device, elevating the Grail and altar above the rest of the tapestry, as can be clearly seen in a series of photographs of the group in situ in `The Arras Tapestries of the San Graal at Stanmore Hall', The Studio, vol. 15 (October 1898), pp. 98-104."

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I was going to suggest Jimmy damaged it when scratching off the original price sticker.

:D I hope someday my kids dont read an article about me being " a drug addled rock star". Or maybe I do............

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I was going to suggest Jimmy damaged it when scratching off the original price sticker.

Are you starting rumors again? ;)

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I was going to suggest Jimmy damaged it when scratching off the original price sticker.

Maybe when he was originally buying it he tried to swap the price-tag with a cheaper product's, and damaged it that way?

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According to the Sotheby's web site the reason for the cut out:

"This panel was therefore designed and woven especially to fit around the architrave of the Stanmore Hall dining room doorway. All the tapestries were intended to be seen above eye level, and the other panels surmounted five-foot high verdures inscribed with details of the scenes. No explanatory verdure was deemed necessary to heighten the drama of the final `Attainment' scene, however, and the effect of the cutaway over the door provides an emotionally charged visual device, elevating the Grail and altar above the rest of the tapestry, as can be clearly seen in a series of photographs of the group in situ in `The Arras Tapestries of the San Graal at Stanmore Hall', The Studio, vol. 15 (October 1898), pp. 98-104."

What do you know... thanks!

I was going to suggest Jimmy damaged it when scratching off the original price sticker.

:D + :rolleyes:

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