Robin Butler on Twitter



5204 A Very Fine Pair of Silver-Gilt Wine Labels for PORT and SHERRY


Click on the images to see more detail

This really rather magnificent pair of wine lables were made in 1823 by Charles Rawlings - a well-kown and respected specialist wine label maker.  They are of considerably larger size than many, being over 3" wide.  The shape almost defies description - a shaped oblong or cartouche probably best describes it.  The decoration comprises a prolofic garland of flowers and foliage surrounding the humped banner bearing the pierced legend - PORT on one label and SHERRY on the other.  Below the legend is a bunch of grapes and above it is a shell.

The iconography of these labels is worth considering.  The scallop shell is one of the earliest symbols in art, meaning 'fertility' and feminity - hence Botticelli's famous depiction of the Birth of Venus.  Similarly garlands of flowers proclaim bounteous welcome, in this instance centering on a bunch of grapes.  This symbolism would have been well understood by any educated man or woman when these were made.

The labels are in excellent unrestored condition.  The hallmarks and maker's mark, while well struck, are somewhat degraded by the piercing of the legend, but the reading of them is not in doubt.

We feel these would complement any good pair of Georgian decanters in an excellent way - so have shown them doing their job!

Date: 1823

Dimensions: 3.15", 80 mm wide

Weight: 1.68 oz, 52 grams.

Sold (we would welcome news of similar items for sale)

Return to Wine and Bin Labels item list