Ultraphon 1

Ultraphon (Czechoslovakia) / c. 1945

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Design: The silhouetted sculpture appears to show Nike, the winged goddess of victory, driving a Quadriga, or chariot drawn by four galloping horses. In Greek mythology, she flew around battlefields rewarding victorious warriors with a wreath of laurel leaves (symbolizing everlasting fame), which she holds in her outstretched arm. In this single-colour production, the fading-out effect around the edges is achieved by 'stippling.' All the typography, from the label name to the imprinting, is set in a consistent slab-serif 'Egyptian' style.

History: Label and sleeve graphic scans courtesy of collector Georg Richter of Germany, who writes: "This was a special issue made for the National Theatre in Prague, c. 1945. The sleeve graphic was reproduced four times on the sleeves of German Ultraphon records." Musicologist and collector Bill Dean-Myatt of the U.K. writes: "Ultraphon was a German company that was owned by Küchenmeister of Holland. In 1929 its Czechoslovakian operations were taken over by a Czech company, Ravitas, but in 1945 the label was nationalized and disappeared from the market [although according to Czech collector 'Johnny,' who has the last Ultraphon issue, the label existed between 1930 and 1948]. There were separate French and German companies."

Design variations of this label in this decade (click on image to view page):

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