National-Phonogramm-Gesellschaft (Germany) / c. 1908

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Design: The illustration taking up the upper segment of the label (appearing in negative fashion because of light print on a dark background; the reversed image below reveals the original image more clearly) shows a portly figure dressed in a wide-brimmed hat decorated with a feather, riding-cape and lederhosen standing on the bank of a river or lake, blowing a trumpet directly into the horn of a table-top phonograph (is he making a recording, or copying the sound coming from the machine?). Records are lying on the table. The back legs of the table are obscured by what may be a dog laying down in the grass; in the distance is a castle or church perched on a hill.

The ornament separating the label name and the address at the foot appears to be influenced by 'Jugendstil,' the German interpretation of Art Nouveau, in which organic shapes became more geometric; this new styling became prevalent in Germany in about 1907.

History: Label scan courtesy of collector Helmut Janisch of Germany.

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