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Black Sabbath debut White Matte RIAA Gold LP Award presented to and signed by Tony Iommi - RARE

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RIAA Gold LP "white matte" award for Black Sabbath's self-titled debut album presented to Tony Iommi (mispelled "Iammi") and signed by Iommi. Widely considered the first heavy metal album, it was released on February 13, 1970. It was certified Gold by the RIAA on June 14, 1971 for one million dollars worth sold.

In addition to its rarity as a white matte and its stellar presentation to legendary guitarist and Sabbath founder Iommi, this award also features a rare misspelling, which is made all the more interesting by the fact that Iommi himself signed the gold LP. He signed this award and gave it to a person who worked for him and a letter of provenance from that person is included with this item.

The album peaked at #23 on the Billboard album chart and #8 on the UK album chart and since has become a classic, appearing on almost every "best albums" list published by Rolling Stone and others over the past two decades. The album's title track has been covered by countless metal acts, paying tribute to Sabbath's broad influence on heavy rock artists. By 1986 it had been certified Platinum by the RIAA. See image above for the RIAA sales certifications of this album through the years*. 

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Item Highlights:

  • RIAA Gold LP award with white matte, gold disc, album miniature, and gold info plate
  • In VG condition with some typical scratches and mars on the frame (see more detail below)
  • A first presentation award from 1971
  • Presented to Tony Iommi (misspelled "Iammi", a rarity among RIAA awards)
  • Signed on the gold disc by Tony Iommi, who adds "Best Wishes"
  • Original back has been opened so that Iommi could sign but original  manufacturer's sticker remains attached
  • Included: Letter of provenance from recipient who was given the award by Iommi (see image)
  • "White matte" awards (obviously so-named due to the white matte used) were made from from 1964-1974
  • RIAA white matte awards numbered only 5-25 plaques worldwide for any given single/album 
  • Award measures approx. 17" x 21"
  • One-of-a-kind collector's item
  • FREE WORLDWIDE insured shipping on this item (see details in red above)

Detailed Item Description: This is a first presentation RIAA Gold LP award made in 1971. It is presented to Tony Iommi, founder and guitarist of Black Sabbath. The gold disc inside the award is signed by Iommi "Best Wishes Tony Iommi" in black marker. The backing paper of the award was broken into for Iommi to sign the gold disc itself inside the frame, making for a more protected and better-appearing autograph. While most of the original backing paper was removed to open the award for the autograph, some of it remains including a portion at the top with the original New York Frame & Picture Co. sticker still attached.

As referenced above, this award has excellent provenance. It was given to a person who worked for Iommi for about 15 years and was signed at a house from which Iommi was moving around 2015. A letter of provenance will provided with purchase from this person. The letter can be seen in the images with the person's name obscured for privacy. Item buyer will receive a non-obscured copy of the letter.

The award features the correct style presentation plate reading "to commemorate more than one million dollars worth of the Warner Bros. Records long-playing record album..." etc. It is 48 years old but is in very good to excellent condition, considering its age. There are a few mars and scratches on the wood frame as is expected. The gold disc, matte and presentation plate are in excellent condition and the plexiglas is clear with only a few  minor mars. The original New York Frame & Picture Co. sticker is present as described above.

Don't miss this very rare opportunity to acquire a coveted RIAA white matte award with unparalleled historic provenance presented to and signed by the legendary guitarist and founder of Black Sabbath. Add in the extremely rare misspelling and you have an award you will never see again anywhere in the world.

Also see two other record awards from this Black Sabbath collection, including a 1970s UK record label award for Black Sabbath's Paranoid album which is also presented to and signed by Iommi here, and a 1972 Australian record label award presented to Black Sabbath for the Paranoid album here

Interested in knowing more about RIAA awards and what makes them great to add to your collection? Subscribe to our free bi-weekly newsletter and get our 55-page MusicGoldmine RIAA and Record Award Guide free plus a 15% discount code here.

Notes on the condition of all vintage RIAA awards like this one: Please do not buy this item if you want a brand new piece of memorabilia. These are historical artifacts from the year they were produced. As a result they may show signs of wear. Frankly, if you see a 50-year-old award purported to be in 100% perfect condition, it might be too good to be true. After all, an antique should have "good' wear. If not, you might want to question the piece.

As to where they came from, they could have been displayed in record label offices, recording studios, artist manager's offices, radio stations, private collector's homes and yes, of course, possibly the artist's or songwriter's home. Typically, we don't know all the places they may have been over the years other than what we've stated in the description.

Finally, a word on photos: Our photos are zoomable so you can get a very good look. Do let us know if you want photos of any other details on our pieces and we'll be happy to provide.

*RIAA sales data source:

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