Reward of Merit with Portrait of Giuseppe Verdi

Reward of Merit with Portrait of Giuseppe Verdi

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One of a series of 16 "Composer Reward Cards" published by Philadelpha music publisher Theodore Presser in the 1890's. These color lithographed cards were designed for music pupils and included a portrait of the composer and a drawing of their birthplace on the front and on the reverse a short biography, a fascimmille of the composer's autograph, and a few bars from one of their compositions. By 1911 Theodore Presser was advertising a "special Music Prize Card" as well which could only be earned after a student earned 14 of the Composer Reward Cards. Teachers were given instructions on how to create the incentives for their music students.
This reward of merit depictis a portrait of Giuseppe Verdi and a building labeled "Birthplace." The words "Reward Card" appear below the building. The reverse side contains a brief biography of Giuseppe Verdi, Verdi, musical notes from a "ms." in British Museum, and a facsimile of Verdi's signature. In the lower left corner the words "Printed in Germany" are written vertically, and the name "T. Presser. Phil'a" is written horizontally.
The publisher Theodore Presser (1848-1925) became a a music student at age 19, then a teacher, by the 188o's had begun publishing a music magazine, The Etude. He formed the Thomas Pressure Company to publish music, developed a philinthrophic foundation for music scholarships and retiring music teachers, and a series of retail music outlets,
Object Name
reward of merit
Physical Description
paper (overall material)
ink (overall material)
overall: 3 1/2 in x 5 3/8 in; 8.89 cm x 13.6525 cm
ID Number
accession number
catalog number
Credit Line
Gift of Dr. Richard Lodish American School Collection
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Cultural and Community Life: Education
Data Source
National Museum of American History
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