Praga (Austro-Hungarian Empire) / 1912

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Design: The posterized image, with its vertical thrust of the crocketed spires of the church and white-release windows superimposed over a ragged-edged, almost-horizontally-streaked bright red sky is very modern-looking in treatment, the unusual asymmetrical balance adding to the effectiveness of the visual impact. By contrast, the symmetrically-arranged lettering, monogram and ornamentation in the lower segment all appear very 'dated.'

History: Label scan courtesy of collector Gabriel Gössel of Czechoslovakia, who writes: "This custom-made record was issued in order to promote the recordings of special music made for a gymnastic festival held in 1912 in Prague. The image shows the silhouetted towers of the city's Old Town Square church (the 'historic' imagery was probably employed in an effort to boost sales). Notwithstanding, these (rather unattractive) sound recordings were a commercial flop, and the records were still being offered in catalogues as late as 1921 -- nine years after the event! The matrices came from The Gramophone Co. Ltd."

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