The Grocers' Licensing Act of 1860.
The Grocer's Licensing Act 1860.
Sanctioned the sale of wines and spirits in small quantities, providing the bottles were appropriately labelled.
Before this the individual could purchase only in bulk and transfer the contents of cask or flagon into bottles or decanters at home. It became fashionable to indicate the contents by hanging s small label on a chain round the neck of the decanter.
These wine labels of the past are now highly collectable items. The majority were made in silver, but enamels and ivory were also used sometimes. The earlier examples are generally rectangular or crescent shaped, more elaborate designs appearing about 1740. Border decorations were either engraved or pierced, the labels hanging by hand-made silver chains.
The names were embossed or etched and many old fashioned terms appear, such as "Hollands" or "Old Tom" for gin. Similar labels were also used for sauces, spices, and cosmetics.