NipperArt

A Virtual Art Exhibit Dedicated to Nipper



NipperArt is a gallery featuring artwork related to Nipper, the Terrier that was the trademark for the Victor Talking Machine Company and its later RCA incarnation. The original painting of this part Bull Terrier, part Fox Terrier dog listening to an Edison Bell Phonograph was rejected by Edison's British company, but Nipper did get a new machine to listen to in a revised painting which would become one of the most recognized product images in the history of advertising.

The earliest Nipper advertisements were noted in a November 1901 "letter to the editor" of the Edison trade magazine The Phonogram with the writer pointing out that this was essentially product misrepresentation since the dog couldn't be listening to "His Masters' Voice" because, unlike the Phonograph, owners of the gramophone couldn't make records on their talking machines.

The rest, of course, is history as the disc record became the dominant format, the Victor Talking Machine Company became the largest phonograph company in the world, and Nipper became an icon inspiring cartoons, parodies and other derivitive creations for over a century.

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Dog Looking at and Listening to a Phonograph (Original)

Artist: Francis Barraud, 1898

Media: Oil on canvas, 36" x 28"

Description: The original painting by Francis Barraud displayed an Edison Bell Phonograph as the featured talking machine.

 

 

 

 

Dog Looking at and Listening to a Phonograph (Revised)

Artist: Francis Barraud, 1898

Media: Photograph

Description: Francis Barraud revised his Phonograph painting with what was to become known as "His Master's Voice"

Leonard Petts, author of the Story of Nipper and the 'His Master's Voice' picture (published for The Talking Machine Review International, 1973), quotes Alfred Clark (Managing Director of the Gramophone Company in 1935) as follows: "He (Francis Barraud) took it to a company then prominent in the sale of wax cylinder phonographs, to see whether they were interested enough to acquire it. They did not seem at all impressed by the originality and beauty of the picture, but asked for more time to think it over."

Barraud replaced the cylinder machine (an Edison commercial model) with a brass horn and a talking machine supplied by The Gramophone Company. Johnson's company then purchased the updated picture.

The Moorestown, New Jersey Nipper's, Roots of Nipper

Artist: Margaret Ingersoll, c. 2005

Media: Paint on fiberglass

Sponsor: Lockheed Martin

This is just one of the 30 statues that was displayed in Moorestown, NJ in 2005. (1)

Click on this Nipper to see the entire Nipper exhibition

Photographs courtesy of Nipper 2005

 



The 14-foot stained-glass window, one of four originally in the tower of the Victor Company’s headquarters in Camden, New Jersey, on display in the Ray Dolby Gateway to Culture Wing at the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History.

Courtesy of the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History and Jaclyn Nash

 

 

 

Nipper on roof (2) of Maryland Historical Society building








 

Nipper on RCA Building, Albany, New York - World's Largest Nipper Statue (3)

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A Nipper Sighting

Walking down a Luzem, Switzerland street in 2006, Doug Fink, a Friend of the Phonograph, photographed this painting of Nipper.

 

 




Gramomobil

Artist: Unknown

Media: Color postcard, Berlin, 4 1/4" x 5 3/4"

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His Master's Voice

Artist: Anne van Wijk, Amsterdam, 1988

Media: Collage, color postcard, 4 1/2" x 5 3/4"

 

 

His Master's Voice - You are the Girl for Me

Artist: Unknown

Media: Postcard, circa 1912

 

 

 

 

 

His Master's Voice (with Apologies)

Artist: Tom Brown, Publisher: Davidson Bros.

Media: Postcard, circa 1903

 

 

 

 

Header from "And Her Name Was Maud!" by Fred Opper - Comic Supplement of the Boston American, July 9, 1905 by the American Journal-Examiner (Smithsonian Collection of Newspaper Comics)



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Hearing

Artist: A.E. Kennedy

Media: Postcard, circa 1911

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His Master's Voice - Back cover of Consolidated Talking Machine Co. Catalogue

Artist: Francis Barraud, c.1901

Media: Embossed color paper, 4" x 6", 38 pages


Front cover of Consolidated Talking Machine Co. catalogue

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Re-creation of His Master's Voice at the South Pole

Artist: Unknown

Media: Photograph, b-w

Scott's Antartica Expedition replaced the fox terrier with a husky listening to "His Master's Voice."

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Home Music Voice

Artist: Unknown, c.1920

Media: Litho on tin

HMV imitation with chicken replacing Nipper

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The Success Sausage Machine

Artist: Unknown, c.1905

Postcard

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Hi-Fi Comes to the Boob Tube - May 15, 1970 Life magazine









Nipper with Television

Artist: Unknown, c.1985

Media: Ink on Paper

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Worldly Wit

Artist: Unknown, 1988

Media: Ink on Paper (newspaper cartoon)

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His Master's Visage

Artist: Stereo Review, October 1978





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"Cool Tunes" by Clarence Brown, Saturday Review, August 1979

(This illustration accompanies an article about an LP available from Syntonics™ of a "Country Thunderstorm" and an "Alpine Blizzard" which dry off your brow as you listen to them patter and sough coolly in the background." (4)






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Not a word!

Artist: Unknown

Media: Postcard

A cat takes the place of Nipper in this postcard that depicts a cat waiting to hear something (instead of Nipper listening to his master's voice).

The card also features two double-meaning phonograph related phrases: you've 'broken the record" and "I'm winding up"

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Frank and Ernest

Artist: Bob Thaves, 9-3-1988

Newspaper cartoon

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His Master's Voice Mail

Artist: Mike Peters, 11-13-1993

Media: Newspaper cartoon

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His Master's Voice and Company

Artist: Captain Robert Falcon Scott, c.1901

Courtesy: grammophone.ch

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"Their Master's Voice," ©Michael Sowa

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Advertising Revealed

Artist: Hillary B. Price, November 23, 2003

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His Master's Vice

Artist: Unknown, c.1905

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This postcard is one of many Nipper parodies that removed the "o" in "Voice," to create "His Master's Vice."

Many of these cards featured Nipper and the whiskey bottle. This card actually depicts multiple vices.

But since Nipper represented the "World's Greatest Music," isn't it natural that these other vices would join Nipper to complete the trilogy of "Wine, Women and Song?"

 


 

 

Color Management for Photographers

Artist: Unknown, c. 2005

Media: Bookcover

A Nipper-like dog watches and listens to music on a computer...the new master of the 21st century.

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His Master's Voice

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Media: Color postcard shaped like Nipper c.2005

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Master Your Music

Artist: Unknown, 2006

Media: PC Magazine, August 22, 2006

Homage to Nipper, listening to an Apple video iPod

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Old Records Go In, CDs Come Out

Artist: Stuart Goldenberg, 2006

Media: Newspaper illustration (New York Times August 17)

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January 26, 2007 Courtesy of Royston Robertson for the cover of Prospect magazine

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January 9, 2008 Courtesy of Royston Robertson

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March 2008 Courtesy of Royston Robertson for the cover of Prospect magazine

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June 30, 2009 Courtesy of Royston Robertson

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Pathe Marconi

Artist: Unknown

Media: Advertisement reprint on canvas, 8" x 10"




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Amazon and Nipper, June 2016








Dog in Car sticker 4" x 4" from Kanazawa Phonograph Museum, Ishikawa, Japan - gift of Peter and Joellen Lippett 2019

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Phonographia

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