Many of the earliest silver wine labels were made in London by the silversmith Sandilands Drinkwater who registered his mark in 1731. The first of these wine labels were cartouche-shaped and usually plain.
Wine labels were originally hand made, and it was not until 1784 that Matthew Linwood of Birmingham produced the first silver die-stamped labels which were superbly cut. Although others copied Linwood, his skill was never surpassed. He generally featured a shell in his pieces. Other outstanding wine labels were made by Matthew Boulton and John Fothergill.
The Licensing Act of 1860 made it legal to sell individual bottles of alcohol and each bottle was marked with its contents, thus making wine labels redundant.