Janus Record

Janus-Record (Germany) / c. 1912

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Design: Thin-to-thick swirling lines, skilled draftsmanship and tightly-drawn decorations (compare obvious similarities with the Artigas label). In Roman mythology, Janus, being able to see forward and back, was the keeper of doorways, and was thus the symbol of old endings and new beginnings (as in the month of January). The oak leaves also suggest paganism, as primitive rites were often held at certain oak trees in the forest.

History: Collector Georg Richter of Germany (who kindly supplied the image of the advertisement below) writes: "The Janus-Record label was launched in July 1907, and was issued by Vereinigte Schallplatten-Werke Janus-Minerva G.m.b.H., Limburgstrasse 1 and 2, Hannover. The initial company name was 'Internationale Grammophon Co. G.m.b.H.' but the company had to drop the word 'Grammophon' from its name because (not surprisingly!) the original Grammophon Co. won a legal action against them at the end of 1907 (source: Phonographische Zeitschrift, 1907)." Label scan courtesy of music researcher and collector Bill Dean-Myatt of the U.K.

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