I have a 1971 US Atlantic SD 8278 reissue of Lizard by King Crimson. Having bought it second hand not listened to it for a long time I put it on the platter and discovered there are two watercolor inserts in the sleeve. One is on cardboard the size of the sleeve and the other one on thin silk paper in a bit smaller size, around 10-inch.
My guess would be these are not part of the record originally and are someone’s personal art project which for some reason ended up in the record sleeve. There is no signature or anything.
you have an offset lithograph reproduction of original art. That’s how every album art insert I’ve ever seen is reproduced. If you don’t see any dots (they may be VERY tiny dots depending on the size of the offset screen) you have original art of some type. If it’s original art, it’s most likely watercolor or acrylic washes from the look of it.
I browsed through Discogs. The copy I have is 1971 Atlantic reissue and none of those listed had a mention of art. With records like this there are so many reissues it’s unlikely Discogs will ever be complete, though. At some point of time I got bored of the whole site even if I have a number of releases that are not in their database.
There was a thread at Discogs forum about the unusual stuff people find in second hand record sleeves. Turns out porn and drugs were the most common items. In the old days when one still bought in bulk from garage sales and such that sort of things were more common. Now they are all cleaned up by the second hand record stores.
They very much look and feel like original watercolours, not prints. I do not have a loupe to verify that, though. That’s also supported by there being a fair bit of color having ran through the thinner paper.
Google image search doesn’t return anything.
It’s probably safe to conclude it’s a personal art project. Now I’m curious as who painted those things, what happened to that person, and how the pieces ended up inside the record sleeve. It’s probably safe to assume they are not ultra rare early drafts of the cover art for the Houses of the Holy by Led Zeppelin
While not perfect Discogs is pretty comprehensive and probably your best shot at an answer, especially considering inserts in great shape can drive the price for many records… If you find a better source for various releases of any recorded title, especially going back to the 1970’s, please share it.