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The latest indication that wealthy people not spending money on lavish vacations, expensive restaurants and the other perks of having lots of discretionary income are eager to buy rare collectibles is word that the original artwork for Led Zeppelin's debut album has sold at auction for close to $325,000. Created by art student George Hardie for the equivalent of about $1,200, the stipple tracing of a photo of the Hindenburg airship disaster of 1937 had been expected to top out at about $30,000 at the Christie's auction. The now 76 year-old artist who became an academic lecturer on illustration says the original was found in a folder at the bottom of a chest in his studio. The label applied to the outside of the folder by a partner of the artist when it was tucked away read, "G's pension fund".

 

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