Zion Record

Zion Record (U.S.A.) / 1926

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Design: The simplified Columbia template, with its round-cornered panels of 1/3 and 2/3 proportions, was introduced in the mid-1920s. A beautiful piece of broad-nib calligraphy for the label name, in a transitional style of Gothic called 'Rotunda' or 'rounded,' (in contrast to the more commonly seen Textura, with its predominantly vertical emphasis), but evoking the feeling of Hebrew lettering. At the top is the Star of David, a symbol first appearing in medieval Prague. Adopted as a logo by the Zionist Movement in 1891, it also appears on Israel's flag (though without the lettering in the centre).

History: Led by visionary Theodore Herzl (1860-1904), the Zionist movement, which had its beginnings in the late 19th century, strove for a permanent homeland for Jews of the Diaspora (scattering among the nations). The Balfour Declaration of 1918 pledged Great Britain's support for a designated Jewish homeland in Palestine, which after WWI was mandated by the British. However, economic and political machinations with oil-rich but hostile Arab neighbouring states would cause Britain to back down on its earlier support, and the founding declaration of the State of Israel would not take place until May 1948. This record was evidently a private pressing by Columbia. Label scan courtesy of collector Chuck Mannisto of the U.S.A., who notes that this recording was made in Columbia's studios in New York on December 27, 1926.

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