Colonial Williamsburg

Colonial Williamsburg (U.S.A.) / c. 1942

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Design: The label name is typeset in a calligraphic hot-metal font named Lydian (designed for American Type Founders in 1938), which has been generously letterspaced to extend the line lengths. Beneath it, two pairs of flourishes are employed (very effectively) to create a pleasing typographic arrangement. Note the difference in the little fleurons (printers' 'flowers') immediately above the spindle hole, and the dent in the flourish on the lower right hand side. That the printing process was letterpress is suggested by the action of the rollers hitting the outer border, which created solid coverage at the top but is starved at the bottom.

History: Likely a private pressing for The Williamsburg Quintet, a close harmony Negro vocal group (of which there were many, following the success of professional acts such as the Golden Gate Quartet, the Dixie Hummingbirds, the Mills Brothers etc.), to be sold by them at performances. Label scan courtesy of collector Owen Burgess of Canada.

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