Zarhvah Art Record

Zarvah Art Record (U.S.A.) / c. 1925

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Design: The futuristic-looking hand-drawn label name lettering follows a very unusual curvature (for the time), combining a convex baseline with vanishing perspective at either end (unfortunately, the lettering artist has made a basic mistake with the cap V, which should have its main weight on the left stroke, not the right; the cross-bar of the H is also much too high for classic Roman). The lower panel is also well ahead of its time design-wise, the abstract guitar-plectrum shape being more in tune with the 1950s.

History: According to internet sources, Vahdah Olcott-Bickford (b. 1885, née Ethel Lucretia Olcott), whose name appears on the label, was a prominent guitar teacher. In 1915 she married Myron Bickford, a mandolinist and well-known astrology enthusiast. Once married, they both changed their names to the more astrologically-aligned Vahdah and Zarh Bickford, combining their names to make the Zarvah Publishing Company (and Zarvah Art Record Co.), which during the 1920s provided members of the American Guitar Society with published music and 78 rpm recordings. Why the word 'Art' was incorporated in the label name is unclear, unless it refers to the artistic nature of the recording.

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