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THE PORTABLE GRAMOPHONES
One of the reference site for collectors
English

HMV
HIS MASTER's VOICE

The famous trademark image comes from a painting by English artist Francis Barraud, A.R.A. and titled His Master's Voice. The original title of the painting was "His Late Master's Voice" (and this phrase appears on many of the original RCA Victor labels), but the concept was considered too depressing for most of the public's tastes, and certainly for an image used as a means to put the consumer in the mood to buy. It was acquired from the artist in 1899 by the newly-formed Gramophone Company. According to contemporary Gramophone Company publicity material, the dog, a fox terrier called Nipper, had originally belonged to Barraud's brother Mark. When Mark Barraud died, Francis inherited Nipper, along with a cylinder phonograph and a number of recordings of Mark's voice. Francis noted the peculiar interest that the dog took in the recorded voice of his late master emanating from the trumpet, and conceived the idea of committing the scene to canvas.  In early 1899, Francis Barraud applied for copyright of the original painting using the descriptive working title Dog looking at and listening to a Phonograph. He was unable to sell the work to any cylinder phonograph company, but The Gramophone Company purchased it later that year, under the condition that Barraud modify it to show one of their disc machines. The image was first used on the company's publicity material in 1900, and additional copies were subsequently commissioned from the artist for various corporate purposes. In Commonwealth countries, the Gramophone Company did not use this design on its record labels until 1909. The following year the Gramophone Company replaced the Recording Angel trademark in the upper half of the record labels by the famous picture painted by Frances Barraud, commonly referred to as Nipper or The Dog.  The company was not formally called "HMV" or His Master's Voice, but was identified by that term because of its use of the trademark. Records issued by the Company before February 1908 were generally referred to as "G&Ts", while those after that date are usually called "HMV" records.

This image continued to be used as a trademark by Victor in the USA, Canada and Latin America, and then by Victor's successor RCA. In Commonwealth countries (except Canada) it was used by subsidiaries of the Gramophone Company, which ultimately became part of EMI.

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HMV 102 C 1930 - Made in UK, Hayes, Middlesex (Original)
HMV 102 B - Blue - 1930 - Made in UK, Hayes, Middlesex (Original)
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HMV C101G 1930 - ART-DECO style - Made in UK, Hayes Middlesex
HMV France LA VOIX DE SON MAITRE C102A - 1930 (restored)
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HMV 101 H Green 1930 - ART-DECO style - Made in UK, Hayes Middlesex
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HMV licensed Pathé 4047 E - 1936 (restored) - FRANCE
© 2013 - Christian Fonck, Geneva. ARR