Design: The ornament filling out the upper panel typifies the 'Artistic Printing' phase of the late nineteenth century. Unrestricted by the limitations inherent in metal casting, litho artists created complex patterns which explored exotic influences, particularly those suggesting an 'oriental' flavour. The preprinted 'shell' is very well printed, probably in Germany. The Germans held superiority in the printing industry for many years because of their advanced chemical industry, which included the manufacture of printing inks. The label name lettering on the two examples shown is quite different, e.g. the tail of the J and the 'hook' on the left side of the capital R; the German example is slightly heavier overall.
History: Jumbo was one of several labels marketed in England by the German Beka company (itself a subsidiary of Fonotipia) before WWI. With the onset of war in 1914 many Anglo-German business relationships were terminated. The Jumbo label design would reappear in 1919, but with a different name: Venus Record. Label scan courtesy of collector Georg Richter of Germany, who notes: "According to an article in the Phonographsche Zeitung, Odeon decided to merge the Jumbo-Record label into the Odeon blue label as of April 4, 1912."