Ariola-Platte (Germany) / c. 1921

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Design: The jolly-looking dolphin has evidently been lifted from a wood-engraving of the fifteenth or sixteenth century; the artist had obviously never set eyes on one! The rough, archaic style of drawing is completely different to the very realistic, sculptural figure of Arion seated on its back, calmly playing his lyre (in Greek mythology, the musician Arion -- and poet, as suggested by the laurel wreath on his brow -- was reputed to have been kidnapped by pirates but rescued by music-loving dolphins). Instead of using the horizon as the logical horizontal axis and centering the label name above, the designer (TB?) has lop-sidedly connected the label name with the tail of the dolphin, thus leaving an awkward space for the imprinting, which has been done in an arbitrary manner. The outline label name lettering shows some unorthodox letterforms such as the A and the TT.

History: According to Wikipedia, Ariola Records of Germany is still in existence, under the Sony banner. Whether this label was connected to the Arion label is unknown. Label scan courtesy of collector Lucyna Lachowicz of Poland.

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