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Port Wine Label

ca. 1790
Origin: England, London
OL (including chain): 4 1/16 in.; OW 1 3/4 in.
Silver (sterling); asphaltum (?)
Museum Purchase, The Friends of Colonial Williamsburg Collections Fund, Barbara J. Bilderback, Charles A. Brothman, Mr. and Mrs. John P. Doley, Dr. and Mrs. James E. Drake, Frank L. Ellsworth, Peter H. Gleason, Joanna Bailie Gunderson, Mr. and Mrs. Roger Hall, Mr. and Mrs. Ronald L. Hurst, Mimi Keba, Mr. and Mrs. Bruce McRitchie, Mr. and Mrs. P. William Moore, Jr., Sandra J. Repp, Ann D. Sandler, Julianne Stanton, Elizabeth B. Stvan, Caroline B. Talbot, Almeda R. Wilking, Mr. and Mrs. Kenneth M. Wolfe, Col. and Mrs. Charles Yerkes, Jr., and Anne E. Young in memory of Arthur Kimball
Acc. No. 2017-298,1
Three silver crescent-form wine labels: Each chased and engraved label was cut from sheet silver and domed slightly. The shape of each is comprised of a crescent with scrolled ends surmounted by an oval, the whole encircled by gadrooned borders and suspended by a length of chain attached by two rings. Within the oval, each label is engraved with an armorial crest of a boar’s head couped, and within the crescent, labels #1 and #3 are engraved “PORT” and label #2 is engraved “MADEIRA”.
Label:Crescent-shaped wine labels of various types were produced by English silversmith from the 1750s to about 1800. During the second half of the eighteenth century, Hester Bateman (1708-1794) was a leading producer of labels of all styles; Charles Rawlings (working ca. 1817-1840) assumed a dominant role in the making of these small but highly decorative items in the early nineteenth century. The neoclassical design of these labels, together with their engraved armorial crest of a boar’s head couped, suggest that Rawlings was called upon to replicate the earlier examples from Bateman’s workshop.
Mark(s):Marked in relief on reverse: 1) "HB" in script in a conforming rectangle [Grimwade 1990 # 960] and 2) a lion passant [partially struck and obscured]
Inscription(s):Engraved in block letters "PORT" with evidence of blackening [asphaltum?]