Exhibition of Stadivari violin played by EMI classical artist Yehudi Menuhin

This summer (13 June – 11 August)  the Ashmolian Museum in Oxford  has a exceptional exhibition celebrating the work of the seventeenth century master crafter of string instruments; Antonio Stadivari.  The rarely seen pieces will include a 1721 Stradivarius violin played by the famous EMI classical violinist Yehudi Menuhin before its auction at Sotheby’s 1971

Stadivari violins are considered the finest in the world, played only by the best professional musicians and held in private collections amoungst royalty.

Yehudi Menuhin photographed by Angus McBean. Copyright: EMI Music Ltd

Yehudi Menuhin photographed by Angus McBean. Copyright: EMI Music Ltd

Menuhin was an EMI recording artist for almost 70 years. He made his first recording in November 1929, aged just 13 and his last recording in 1999 aged 83. As a violinst and a conductor he recorded over 300 pieces for EMI.

Art Deco loveliness: The Marconiphone

The Marconiphone was a brand of radios that were originally developed by the Marconi Company in the UK from 1923. The brand was sold to the Gramophone Company in 1929 as that company diversified into wireless technology. The Gramophone Company became EMI in 1931 and continued to make Marconiphone Radios until 1956.

This blog entry is an excuse to highlight some of the beautiful marketing images of the Marconiphone brand. They have been shared with us by the EMI Archive Trust, who have many more similar images in their vaults. If you are interested in learning more about Marconiphone and seeing more images you can organise a visit to the Archives by contacting them here.

The first two images come from the Memoranda of Sale of the Marconiphone brand in 1929. Heavily influenced by Art Deco, the brochure is Alfred Clark (the Managing Director of the Gramophone Company)’s personal copy. You can see his name in the bottom right hand corner.

It contains a personal message from Marconi himself:

This is a trade advertisement ecouraging dealers to stock Marconiphones from around 1930:

This wonderful consumer advert places the Marconiphone as a premium luxury item as is clear by the sophistication of the image and the 52 guineas price tag (about £3,000 at today’s prices):

Another consumer advert frome the early 1930’s which again has an art deco feel:

Finally here is a print advert from around 1933: