Elso Magyar

Elsö Magyar (Hungary) / c. 1910

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Design: A beautifully drawn, brightly coloured illustration of a young, barefooted maid in traditional folk costume playing a violin, on the hard-packed ground of a rural village square. The decoration enclosing the label name (which is also very attractively drawn) continues the folk-art theme. The drawing has been very skilfully hand-stippled in several colours (red, yellow, green, black) and was probably printed from lithographic stones, the imprinting in the lower segment being done later by letterpress. Note the fine detailing of the well in the background, the careful attention paid to shading on the girl's figure, and the realistic shadows cast beneath her skirt and on the building in the background.

History: Acccording to Mr. Google Translate, the label name in English would read: 'First Hungarian Record Company.' Label scan courtesy of collector and musicologist Bill Dean-Myatt of the U.K. Thanks for updated info to collector Michael Letchford of the U.K., who writes: "This company first produced records around 1912, I think.* I have a catalogue found in Budapest dated 1912, classical and other varieties of music recorded. All very rare. The record you illustrate is not in the catalogue so must date post-1912."

[*According to collector Georg Richter of Germany, the Elsö Magyar company was definitely founded in February 1908. He suggests this one was recorded in 1910, as records #8603 and #8612 were both recorded that same year. He suggests the possibility that as this record did not appear in the 1912 catalogue, it might have been temporarily deleted.]

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