Compagnie Internationale Phonique

Compagnie Internationale Phonique (France) / c. 1907

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Design: A very attractive and well-balanced symmetrical design, showing symbolism inspired by Greek mythology. Two classically-garbed females appear on either side, bracketed by gracefully arching borders. The figures are likely representations of two of the nine Muses, beautiful hybrids who were the product of the god Zeus' sexual intercourse with a human female, who were gifted with celebrating in song the glorious deeds of the Olympian deities.

The figure on the left, Clio, the muse of history, reads from a large book; at her feet is a table-top phonograph with a long fluted horn. On the right, Terpsichore, the muse of dance, plays a seven-stringed lyre; at her feet is a collection of records.

Above the spindle-hole, the corporate logo occupies a large circular area, supported by bracketing and wreaths of leaves.

At the foot is a rococo-style cartouche, flanked by the smiling mask of Thalia, the muse of comedy, with the frowning mask of Melpomene, the muse of tragedy, on the right. The colour combination of yellow and dark brown is very attractive.

History: Evidently associated with the Association Phonique des Grands Artistes, active in Paris between 1906 and 1910. Label scan courtesy of collector Helmut Janisch of Germany.

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