Phonotype Record 1

Phonotype Record (Italy) / c. 1911

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Design: Along with the wiry ornamentation, which draws its inspiration from calligraphic masters of past centuries, the unusual label features a 'modern' screened photograph of the artist (this may have been pasted on later). The lettering on the pre-printed 'shell' appears to be hand-drawn, possibly at actual size, and is therefore quite uneven in character.

History: Ms. Gilda Ruzzi of Italy writes: "The Esposito family founded Phonotype Records in 1901 in Naples as a small family-run business, which is still operational today after four generations (I am one of the family descendants), continuing with the same brand and in the same place.

"The first Italian disc record factory, Phonotype was unrelated to Fonotipia, which arrived only in 1929. Among its catalogue of artists are many famous names such as Nicola Maldacea, Fernando De Lucia, Gennaro Pasquariello, Elvira Donnarumma, Salvatore Papaccio, Vittorio Parisi, Gilda Mignonette, Armando Gill and many others."

To visit the Phonotype web site click here.

Giuseppe Godono, the featured artist, was an early 'pop' singer whose 1915 rendition of Song of the Italians would eventually become that country's national anthem. Label scan courtesy of Bill Dean-Myatt of the U.K.

Design variations of this label in this decade (click on image to view page):

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