Bottle ticket

1796-1797 (made)

Schofield, John

Height: 1.375 in, Length: 1.875 in

M.448-1944 MET

Silver, London hallmarks for 1796-7, mark of John Schofield.

Bottle ticket with the word SHERRY. Silver, crescent shaped with double reeded edge, the points terminating in circular eyelets to which the chain is attached and from which spring curved arms supporting a shield, engraved with the monogram JRC.

The history of bottle tickets provides a fascinating insight into English eating, drinking and personal habits. Contemporary gazettes begin to refer to 'labels for bottles' in the 1770s but it was not until the 1790s that they were established as wine or decanter labels. Their function was to identify the contents of a bottle or decanter, which might alternatively contain spirits, sauces, toilet waters or cordials. These tickets also illustrate in miniature, the skills of the silversmith over the last two hundred years. While the variety of styles and materials were enormous, silver bottle tickets tended to reflect fashionable designs in metalware generally. Makers were quick to adapt the many technical advances of the 18th and 19th centuries.

P. J. Cropper Bequest

Location: In Storage

View this object on the V&A website