Bottle tickets identified the contents of a bottle or decanter, which might alternatively contain spirits, sauces, toilet waters or cordials. This silver ticket in the form of a capital M would have identified any contents beginning with that letter, for example Madeira or Marsala.
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. These tickets also illustrate in miniature the skills of the silversmith over the last two hundred years. While the variety of styles and materials was enormous, silver bottle tickets tended to reflect the designs and technical advances in metalware generally.