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Iconic Rolling Stones logo sold for £51,000

Mick Jagger's lips have made the Victoria and Albert Museum's permanent collection.

The Rolling Stones' famous tongue and lips logo has been snapped up by the London institution for just under £51,000 at an auction in the US.

The pop art design was created by student John Pasche in 1970 and was partly inspired by the distinctive shape of the Rolling Stones' frontman's mouth. The image was first used on the Stones' Sticky Fingers album and has been in continuous use by the band ever since.

Sir Mick approached the Royal College of Art in London in 1969 to help him find a design student after being frustrated by the bland designs offered by their record label Decca Records.

He visited Pasche's degree show, which led to discussions for a logo and other work for the Stones' own label, Rolling Stones Records, after the group's contract ended with Decca in 1970.

Victoria Broakes, head of exhibitions, V&A Theatre and Performance Collections, said: "The Rolling Stones' Tongue is one of the first examples of a group using branding and it has become arguably the world's most famous rock logo.

"We are delighted to have acquired the original artwork, especially as it was designed at the Royal College of Art right here in South Kensington by a student who used to visit the V&A's collections for inspiration.

"We are very grateful for the Art Fund's support in helping us acquire this exciting addition to our collections."

The Art Fund, the UK's independent art charity, contributed half the cost of the piece.

David Barrie, director of the Art Fund, said: "This iconic logo, first used on the Stones' Sticky Fingers album, is one of the most visually dynamic and innovative logos ever created.

"Designed in the UK by a British artist for one of the country's most successful groups of all time, it's wonderful that it has now found a permanent home in London, where the band was originally formed."

Meanwhile, admission charges at the Institute of Contemporary Arts Gallery (ICA) in London have been scrapped, it announced today. The first show to be free will be the ICA Auction Exhibition, which opens on September 11. The gallery was founded in 1947 and its exhibitions over the years have been controversial.