An autographed copy of Led Zeppelin’s classic album Houses of the Holy sold for big bucks at auction, and it didn’t even contain the actual album. 

According to the BBC, the cardboard sleeve of the 1973 release, featuring the signatures of all four members of the iconic band, sold for over $18,000, well above the estimated selling price of between $1,500 and $2,200.

The inclusion of drummer John Bonham’s signature made the item a rare find, which resulted in what is believed to be the highest sale price for an autographed copy of the album. This is despite the lack of the actual record and the sleeve being slightly worn out in the corners.

“We were thrilled to achieve this astonishing result for this set of Led Zeppelin autographs 50 years on from the original release of Houses of the Holy,” Andrew Smith, music and memorabilia specialist at Gildings Auctioneers in Leicestershire, England, tells the BBC. “Thanks to the extreme rarity of full sets of the band’s signatures, this album cover represented a holy grail for collectors determined to own a very special piece of music memorabilia.”

Houses of the Holy was Led Zeppelin’s fifth studio album. It featured such Zeppelin classics as “The Song Remains the Same,” “The Rain Song” and “Dancing Days.”

(A previous version of this story published on 9/5/23 erroneously identified the winning bid as $15,000 in the headline. The headline has been updated to correct the error.) 

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