Original Antique Victorian Music Hall Sheet Music with Illustrated Cover - Museum Quality

$99 $121.53

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This fabulous early sheet music from the days of the Music Hall is one of
several I am listing in the 'Music/Instruments' section of my shop, and are in
great condition considering their age.

This one is complete, but does have a 4" tear to the spine fold, see image 6.

These look lovely framed and are highly collectable.

Measures 10" x 14" and will be shipped loosely rolled in a tube.

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It was the music hall that created the popular market for illustrated sheet
music. Stars such as George Leybourne, Arthur Lloyd and other ‘swells’ were
idolised like pop stars and the words and music of their songs were much in
demand. In the 1870s, a popular song could sell 80,000 music sheet copies.

By 1888 there were nearly one hundred music shops in London. The publishing of
illustrated music sheets had become a very lucrative business with relatively
low overheads. The lyricist and composer might get just £5 per song, but since
publishers realised that a good cover illustration could sell thousands of
copies, the artists could receive as much as £20. There were no copyright
regulations until 1882 and music was often adapted or pirated without any fee
to the original composer or lyricist.

By the 1890s publishers began to reproduce photographs of singers and stars on
the front of music sheets. This new technology heralded the decline of the
illustrated music sheet. They were slowly replaced by those featuring a
photographic image surrounded by a selection of novel letterforms.

Most music sheet covers that find their way into the museum no longer have the
original music attached. W.E. Imeson who wrote the first book on illustrated
music sheet covers in 1912 advised his readers to carefully trim the covers
from the music and frame them. Do not heed his advice - a cover with music
attached is now far more valuable.

Source - The Victoria & Albert Museum

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