Disques Semeuse

Disques Semeuse (France) / c. 1911

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Design: The French word 'semeuse' means 'female sower,' and here a helmeted female in a long flowing gown stands between banks of clouds on top of the sun, the rays of which are spreading across the sky, broadcast-sowing a stack of records far and wide (the lady must be strong indeed, for she carries quite a stack of discs). The label name, (unusually) running downward, is contained within an elongated fabric banner which flows back and forth across the upper segment.

Whether or not there were other 'series' as distinct from the 'Artistic' is unknown. The thin-lined outer border has interesting terminal flourishes at the top, either side of the figure's head.

This label may have been exclusive to the music of the Republican Guard of Paris (a military-style band) as seen at the foot, for the lettering seems to be part of the original artwork and not imprinted afterward. The fonts used in the imprinting at the foot are an interesting mix: bold sans serif caps and a curious roman, which shows an antique calligraphic form of the lowercase 'r.'

The music on the record, the overture to the opera The King of Ys by composer Edouard Lalo, was first performed in 1888 in Paris, and deals with a folk-loric tale of a drowned city in France.

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

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