5108 A very fine pair of silver-gilt wine labels
This is a stunningly good pair of wine labels because of several factors. First they are a good size, second they are well gilded, third, the labels as a whole are in pristine condition, and fourth, because the wine names are not common ones. The labels are of shaped oval outline with borders of stylised reeded scrolls and anthemions. They are suspended on heavy belcher chains and were made by John Reily.
The labels are very heavily die-stamped, only made possible at this date (1824) by the invention of fly presses capable of impressing thicker gauge silver than had been possible previously, indeed they are of sufficiently heavy gauge for many to consider, on first impression, that they were cast.
The names of the wines are very accurately pierced against a uniformly coarse grade of matting which has produced an unusual effect. Each of the labels has an unusual line on the back, probably caused by the rear die being cracked; the fronts of the labels are not affected.
John Reily is a well-known maker of wine labels, and this is one of his distinctive designs. A label of the same design is illustrated in 'Wine Labels 1730 - 2003', although the text describes the anthemions as shells - which they are not! It is illustrated pl.553, p 155.
Dimensions: 2.2", 5.6 cm. wide
Weight: 44 grams, 1 oz. 8 dwt. the pair.