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.
Previously we told the story about double items in our illustrated sheet music collection. In that post we showed how publishers boldly used lithoshopping. What follows are more images that leave us slightly puzzled (and amused) as to the how and why of certain changes. Which image came first? Was the modification in print inspired by a surge of creativity? Who ordered the change? Is the result an improvement or a pictorial disaster?
But can you spot all the differences? Ready, steady, go!
Usually a collector avoids double or triple items. But sometimes they lead to discoveries. Did you know for example that in the 19th-century print shop it was common practice to apply what we could call lithoshopping on the limestone plate? Look for yourself.
In fact, some publishers shamelessly recreated on the stone almost identical copies of the covers originally published in another country.
And then again, one Pas de Quatre is not the other Pas de Quatre, or is it?