Category Archives: Collecting

45 rpm Vinyl: Those Were The Days

Mariniers-Kapel der Koninklijke Marine‘, cover of the 45rpm record published by Philips

In appreciating things of beauty and loveliness we try not to be insular, meaning that we also have an eye for other things cultural than sheet music. Last week during clean-up we found a small pile of 45rpm records. We breathed a little sigh of nostalgia —those were the days…

We thought it would be a pleasant variation in our Images Musicales Stories to publish some of these covers. Mind, the cover designs are not masterworks but nonetheless charming, and in that way very similar to sheet music.

Marlborough Symphony Orchestra, works of Brahms, Dvorak, Paganini and Strauss’. 45rpm record published by Camden.

 

Grieg’s Peer Gynt Suite‘, cover of the 45rpm record published by Camden.

 

Michelin (Luister naar deze grammofoonplaat)‘, 33rpm publicity record in small 45rpm format. (This is not a classic plastic record in a sleeve, but a square of thick paper on which the groove is engraved in a thin transparent film).

 

Grote Planta Wedstrijd – Prijzenfestival‘, Dutch or Flemish publicity record for Planta margarine and promotional contest. Of the 3.000 prizes to win, the first one is a furnished apartment (!). Click to view the back cover of the sleeve.

Next are two children fairy tale books. The record with the spoken story and accompanying music, is engraved on the cover of the booklet (the black tracks, on a thin plastic transparent film). Inside is the written story to read and to look at the illustrations. Of course, the booklet is entirely perforated in the center for the axis of the turntable. Does it bring back sentimental memories..?

Roodkapje‘ (Little Red Riding Hood), published by Mulder & Zoon, Amsterdam, s.d.

 

Roodkapje‘, illustration by Truus Vinger on one of the inside pages.

 

Klein Duimpje‘ (Tom Thumb), fairy tale record-booklet published by Mulder en Zoon, Amsterdam, s.d.

 

Inside illustration of the above record-booklet ‘Klein duimpje’, by Truus Vinger.


The following illustrations are of Sint-Niklaas en Zwarte Piet (Saint-Nicolas and Black Pete). They are funny folkloristic characters who visit children’s homes in the Netherlands and the Flemish part of Belgium to bring presents and treats on the evening of December 5. Or better they were, because Black Pete is now seen as a blatantly racist stereotype. Black Pete is Saint-Nicolas’ loyal servant and he is usually portrayed in black face with  a frizzy wig, golden earrings and painted large red lips. This gave rise to a divisive conflict: does a tradition that is experienced by some as offensive needs to be adapted or maintained?

Zie ginds komt de stoomboot en andere St.Nicolaas liedjes‘, Record-booklet with children song published by Mulder & Zoon, Amsterdam, s.d. Cover design by Leendert van Groen.

 

Illustration on one of the inside pages in the above record-booklet ‘Zie ginds komt de stoomboot…’ by Nans van Leeuwen.

 

Cover for booklet 'O, kom er eens kijken, en andere St.Nicolaas liedjes'
O, kom er eens kijken, en andere St.Nicolaas liedjes‘ record-booklet with children songs published by Mulder & Zoon (Amsterdam, s.d.). Cover design by Leendert van Groen.

 

Inside illustration for the above record-booklet by Leendert van Groen.


Now sing along with us and Mary Hopkin, to bring back those days my friends…

Mysterious Phenomena In Illustrated Sheet Music – Part 2

Mystery?‘ – A foxtrot by Joseph A. Cirina. Published by Herman Darewski (London,1919) and illustrated by Lionel S. Reiss.

The world of sheet music illustration never stops to amaze the assiduous collector. She/he has to face up to mysteries that defy the imagination, pictorial challenges to her or his ingenuity. The collector stumbles in an enigmatic world where things become unexplainable and surpass fantasy. Here is the continuation of our popular series on accidentally —sometimes wilfully— assembling duplicates.

The Apparition of the Seaside Resort

Two almost identical covers published by 'Zalig plekje aan zee' composed by A. Van Oest (LEFT) and 'Mooi Zandvoort' by Vorrattie. Both publishe by B H Smit (Amsterdam)
Zalig plekje aan zee‘ composed by A. Van Oest (LEFT) and ‘Mooi Zandvoort‘ by Vorrattie (RIGHT). Published by B H Smit (Amsterdam, s.d.). Illustrator: D. Coene.

The Case of the Blue Hat

Two striking versions of 'Camouflage' sheet music illustration
Camouflage‘, One-Step by James Bodewalt Lamp. LEFT: the 1917 publication by Jerome Remick (NY, Detroit), not in our collection. RIGHT: the redrawn version by Francis Salabert (Paris). Unknown illustrator.

The Subtle Substitution

Fleur de Cerisier‘ and ‘Fleur de Pommier‘. Composed by Adrian de Lorme, published by Duff & Stewart (London, s.d.) and illustrated by William Spalding.

The Instrument Swap

Whistling Rufus‘, a Two-Step Polka or Cake-Walk by Kerry Mills. LEFT: the original guitar publication by Mills, F. A. (New York, s.d., unknown illustrator). RIGHT: the Swedish banjo version published by Carl Gehrman (Stockholm), s.d., illustrated by Nils Ringström.

The Apprentice Twins

Le Petit Mousse Noir‘, a Romance by P. Cheret & Marc Constantin. LEFT: undated publication by Choudens (Paris, s.d.). RIGHT: publication by Mayence (Anvers & Bruxelles, s.d.). Unknown illustrator.

Previous episodes

How Absurd

'Pepper Pot' sheet music cover illustration,
Pepper Pot‘, a novelty dance by Harold Ivers. Published by Witmark, M. & Sons (New York, 1913) and illustrated by André De TaKacs.

Rather absurd,  I mumbled while surfing the net recently. I was left perplexed by how our blog Images Musicales Stories leaves ludicrous traces on the global network. I want to tell you about it. But first, a pair of absurd music illustrations, as a warm-up.

'Five O'Clock' sheet music by Maurice Ravel
Five O’Clock‘, Maurice Ravel’s fox trot, published by A. Durand & Fils (Paris, 1925) and illustrated by R. Vallet.

Five O’Clock‘, Maurice Ravel’s fox trot, also published by A. Durand & Fils (Paris). Copyright is 1925 but the illustration from Maurice Le Palud is dated 1931.

A few years ago we fabricated a pastiche to illustrate a post on the sheet music covers created by René Magritte. Yes, excessively photoshopped from an original Magritte cover.

A pictorial farce accompanying our previous article (2016) on the illustrative work by René Magritte.

The image was a tongue-in-cheek remark on the surrealistic potentials of Magritte’s cover for Prière à mon Ange. You will understand our surprise that this little joke was copied to an Italian website as if it was the work of René Magritte himself!
How surreal.

Screenshot (April 11th, 2020) of an Italian website discussing and showing Magritte’s publicitary designs.

Next is an even more absurd story. In 2014 we published an article on the life and work of Wolfgang Ortmann. The post was documented with more than a dozen high-resolution scans of our sheet music collection. Alas, at the time we didn’t feel the need to digitally stamp these images. A ‘rascal’ based in New Zealand copied our images, photoshopped the most ‘offensive’ tears and wrinkles, and felt the commercial urge to bundle them in a calendar. A CALENDAR!

We couldn’t resist ordering such a calendar from New Zealand. Only 3 available items left! For $12,99 plus shipping costs it was ours.And now we have our beautiful Ortmann covers —which we patiently collected over many years, documented and cared for, and which travelled electronically to the other side of the world— printed on ordinary A4 paper and bundled in a cheap plastic ring on our desk. Look what they’ve done to my song Ma?