Klarophone Record Co.

Klarophone Record Co. (Italy) / c. 1923

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Design: This very pretty multi-coloured label shows a view of the picturesque Bay of Naples (built up somewhat since the picture was drawn, when compared with the photograph below; three million people now live within the immediate vicinity of Mount Vesuvius, which appears in the background). The curlicued decoration almost makes it appear as if steam or smoke is erupting from the spindle hole!

The label name and lettering across the band either side of the spindle hole is hand-drawn, not typeset, but the song title ('Contradanza Siciliana') appears in a very stylish stub-serif advertising font with a huge x-height. After WWI, type designers were beginning to bulk up and stylize font designs in response to needs for variety in newspaper and magazine advertisements; such fonts were not meant for continuous reading but the occasional eye-catching line of 'display' text, as here.

History: Label scan courtesy of Giuliana Fugazzotto of Italy, who notes: "Klarophone Record, a Neapolitan label, was founded in 1922 by Antonio De Martino of the Italian Book Company, located on Mulberry Street, New York. Around 1924 it was sold to Phonotype Record."

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