Recto verso de luxe

'Poèmes chantées', music by Charpentier
‘Poèmes chantés’, music by Charpentier (Tellier, Paris, s.d., illustrated by George Rochegrosse).  Click image to enlarge

Often the back cover of sheet music shows publicity or part of the publisher’s music catalogue. It is seldom blank. But it is much rarer that the back cover (verso) is illustrated to form a whole with the front. Something that today is common on e.g. book wrappers. In our collection of sheet music we found only six of such ‘full covers’. These were probably luxury editions as we can imagine the cost of making such large lithographic plates. We happily share these ‘specials’ with you.

'Chansons frêles'
‘Chansons frêles’, composed by André Fijan (Ricordi, Paris, s.d., illustrator unknown). Click image to enlarge
'Renouveau', composed by Augusta Holmes
‘Renouveau’, composed by Augusta Holmes (Ricordi, Paris, 1894, illustrated by Alfredo Montalti).  Click image to enlarge
'l'Elégant - quadrille: Aux dames de France', music by Casquil, dance by E. Louis (publisher unknown, s.d., illustration signed E.D. monogram)
‘l’Elégant – quadrille: Aux dames de France’, music by Casquil, dance by E. Louis (publisher unknown, s.d., illustration signed E.D. monogram)  Click image to enlarge
''t Is Feest in het land...', music by P. Standaart (Vlieger, Rotterdam, s.d., illustrated by Hendrik van Kesteren) Click image to enlarge
”t Is Feest in het land…’, music by P. Standaart (Vlieger, Rotterdam, s.d., illustrated by Hendrik van Kesteren). Click image to enlarge
'Klingende Illustrierde', music by various composers (Curtius, Berlin, 1943, illustrated by Kurt Hilscher) Click image to enlarge
‘Klingende Illustrierte’, music by various composers (Curtius, Berlin, 1943, illustrated by Kurt Hilscher). Click image to enlarge