A collection of nine escutcheon-shaped rarities, all dated c.1755 and featuring trademark cupids, were estimated at £1000-1500 each at Woolley & Wallis on April 24-25. All found buyers, but six went under the hammer at less than £1000.
Among them was a 2¾in (7cm) label for Grave[s], above, featuring a reclining Venus with Cupid at her feet which sold to a collector at £800.
Two labels for less refined drinks – one for Cyder [sic], the other for Beer, shared the top honours at £1300 each.
At these prices, Battersea rarities easily outsold most of the silver wine labels offered in 83 lots at Salisbury. Only one made a four-figure hammer price and that was a pair by Paul Storr, London 1814, shaped as 2in (5cm) shells for Hermitage and Red Champagne.
The pair sold at £1200 – more evidence that this market is softening as several collectors leave the field.
Other major silversmiths featured in the section included Hester Bateman. Her top-seller was a (6cm) long, c.1775 crescent-form label incised Sherry which doubled hopes at £550. Another of her offerings, a collection of three c.1780 for Claret, Port and Madeira sold at £320.