That the once iconic motif still has its fans was apparent at the sale held by Pari (20% buyer’s premium) in the Bavarian town of Aschaffenburg on November 12.
A large enamel advertising sign for His Master’s Voice, measuring 2ft 9in x 4ft (85cm x 1.22m) from c.1920 was knocked down to a north German collector for the estimated €3000 (£2610).
The motif is based on a painting from 1899 by Francis James Barraud depicting his pet listening to an Edison Phonograph. Barraud later adapted the motif in a new version, showing not a phonograph, but a gramophone.
He was able to sell the rights to Emile Berliner, founder of the Gramophone Company, who used it as a trademark for several of his companies, in particular for the record label and retailer HMV.
The first HMV shop was opened in London’s Oxford Street in 1921 and from then on, Nipper has featured on many hundreds of records, from 78s to vinyl. To this day, Nipper still plays a minor role as a logo for HMV’s subsequent business ventures.