Guardsman (U.K.) / 1922

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Design: An acanthus-leaf border encloses all, with a circular cartouche at the top containing a bandmaster conducting a military band, giving an overall effect perhaps more feminine than masculine. The melange of fonts used for the imprinting (including De Vinne and Della Robbia) date from the early 1900s, while the label name is lettered in timeless classic Roman capitals. The stamp bears witness that three farthings (three-quarters of a penny) duty has been paid; the farthing was dropped from circulation in 1960.

History: Originally issued as Invicta, the label change took place in 1914 (at the beginning of WWI; whether it was changed for patriotic reasons is unknown). According to Steven C. Barr (author, The Almost Complete 78 RPM Record Dating Guide), after 1920 the labels were pressed by Vocalion and the masters were the same as those issued under the Aco label. Label scan above courtesy of U.K. musicologist and collector Bill Dean-Myatt, who notes that this issue is from a special Jewish series using U.S. Vocalion masters, and is very rare. Alternate colour label scans (below) courtesy of collectors John Bruninx of Belgium (left) and Rob Crewdson of the U.K. (right).

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