4077 A rare silver wine label for FONTANIAC
Mis-spelt names on wine labels have always been collected, and perhaps the most famous of these was one engraved 'Shabley'. This label is doubly wrong, as not only is it spelt incorrectly, but also it was pierced with the name upside-down.
A popular dessert wine in restaurants is Muscat de Frontignan - because it is considerably less expensive than Sauternes. In the 18th and 19th centuries it was known as 'Frontignac' - and as you can see, this label is well wide of the accepted spelling. But that was not the only error the maker made; he pierced the name upside-down! If you look carefully, you can see the loops on the bottom edge from which the label should be suspended by its chain. As a result of his error, two further holes have had to be drilled in the foliage for suspension.
The label has the marks of Thomas Edwards, and the hallmarks for 1828. It has the national flowers of England, Scotland and Ireland (the rose, thistle and shamrock) in the design, but not a leek or daffodil for Wales. The remaining decoration is a profusion of grapes and vine leaves centered by a shell. The label itself is diestamped, and other makers also used the same die. For information only (it is not mine) I have shown a 'Sauterne' label stamped from the same die the correct way up, and engraved, not pierced.
Dimensions: 2.3" , 6 cm. wide
Weight: 15 grams, 10 dwt.