Tuesday - 21 October 2014

Why gin costs so much more when it’s Scotch

08 May 2001Written by ATG Reporter

Silver spirit labels (‘Holland’ refers to Dutch Gin) are not quite two a penny, but they are among the cheapest drinking trinkets available.

This rather plain example, would have worth around £40 had it been made in London, but its presence among the Scottish provincial silver at Thomson Roddick and Medcalf's (12.5% buyer's premium) sale in Edinburgh on April 24, promised a far higher price.

The wine label was engraved W.I.Tain to the reverse - and this mark would make thousands of pounds difference to the price.

The initials stood for William Innes, a silversmith active in Tain during the early 19th century. Silver from Tain may not be as rare as that from Peterhead, Ellen, or Stonehaven, but it is still highly sought. The spirit label (no doubt part of an original set of four of five) was a cut above the usual flatware from Tain, and it sold to the trade at £3600.

Elsewhere a fiddle pattern egg spoon by George Angus of Peterhead c.1820 made £3500 and a pepper castor by Robert Naughten of Inverness made £3400.

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