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Sheet music in the nineteenth century was often provided with illustrated covers; designed to attract the buyer and encourage impulsive purchases. Whilst it cannot be claimed that they are great art, they nevertheless reflect the era in which they were produced in the restless striving for novelty in the typography and their colourful images made possible by the recent improvements in lithographic techniques. They are now highly sought after collectable items in their own right.

The Gilbert and Sullivan Operas

Nearly all the illustrated covers associated with the Gilbert and Sullivan operas were designed for the many arrangements of melodies from the operas as dance music, the one exception being "The Judge's Song" from Trial by Jury.

Trial by Jury The Sorcerer H.M.S. Pinafore
The Pirates of Penzance Patience Iolanthe
Princess Ida The Mikado Ruddigore
The Yeomen of the Guard The Gondoliers Utopia, Limited
  The Grand Duke  

Sullivan's Works

With the exception of The Chorister and The Absent-Minded Beggar March, the covers reproduced here were created for dances arranged from Sullivan's operas and songs.

Cox and Box Haddon Hall The Chieftain
The Rose of Persia The Emerald Isle Victoria and Merrie England
The Chorister Waltzes based on
Sullivan's songs
The Absent-Minded Beggar March

Gilbert's Works

Ages Ago A Sensation Novel The Happy Land
Princess Toto The Mountebanks Thady O'Flynn

Other Works produced at the Savoy Theatre

The Nautch Girl The Vicar of Bray Mirette
The Grand Duchess The Lucky Star Mr. Jericho
  A Princess of Kensington  

Works played on tour by D'Oyly Carte's Companies

Billee Taylor Claude Duval Manteaux Noirs
  Rip Van Winkle  

European and American Covers

H.M.S. Pinafore Patience Iolanthe
The Mikado (American) The Mikado (European) The Yeomen of the Guard
  The Distant Shore  

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