Azteca (U.S.A. ethnic) / c. 1956

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Design: Because the printing ink is lighter than the background, the image appears as a photographic negative; in the reversed image below, the original drawing, an excellent example of first-class commercial art, can be seen more clearly. A pair of semi-kneeling Aztec 'supporters' (in heraldic terminology) wearing capes, necklaces, arm and leg-bands and spectacular 'bird of paradise' headdresses, present a large circular illustrated disc as used by the Aztecs of South America as a calendar in their measurement of time. The stepped plinth suggests the stone building blocks of the pyramidical temples central to the culture; the lettering of the label name seems to be inspired by stone block construction or the angular patterning used by the Aztecs in decorative motifs. The gold on dark red colour combination is appropriate in suggesting the importance of gold to the Aztecs and their practice of human sacrifice to placate their gods. Whether the outside border carries any real message or is simply an abstract pattern is unknown; it seems to repeat in regular blocks. Obviously the design, which has had time and thought put into it, is the product of a creative commercial art studio rather than the lazy effort of a run-of-the-mill print shop (e.g. the DDR label).

History: Evidently a label based in Los Angeles, California, catering to the large Spanish-speaking market in that area. Label scan courtesy of collector Joaquin López of Mexico.

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