Orpheus (Bulgaria) / c. 1946

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Design: A robust design of the aggressive-looking spread eagle, the 'king of the air,' its beak open, wings extended and claws ready to rend its prey (or enemies). The spread eagle, sometimes seen in double-headed form, was an heraldic image much used in continental Europe in the medieval era, its lineage reaching back to the Holy Roman Empire.

History: Label scan courtesy of collector Dimitar Malchev of Bulgaria, who writes: "The Orpheus label was a product of a joint-stock company called Simonavia, which was founded in 1924 by a famous aviator, Simeon Petrov. Prior to 1931 the company's records were pressed by Pathé; in 1931 the company built a factory in Sofia, Bulgaria, where its records were pressed, but the master recordings (matrices) were made in Hamburg and Berlin, Germany. The label design remained unchanged throughout the 1930s until 1947, when nationalization took place in Bulgaria."

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