His Master’s Voice

Ivan's Blog

 

His Master’s Voice in abbreviation HMV (also in French La Voix de Son Maître, in German Die Stimme seines Herrn, in Italian La voce del padrone, in Spanish La voz de su amo) is a trademark in the music business, and for many years was the name of a large record label. The name was coined in 1899 as the title of a painting of the dog Nipper listening to a wind-up gramophone. In the photograph on which the painting was based, the dog was listening to a phonograph cylinder.

Origins

The trademark image comes from a painting by English artist Francis Barraud, A.R.A. and titled His Master’s Voice. 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…

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