year needed

Hi everyone
can you tell me the makers name and what it may have been used for also the year made for this Birmingham item, can’t find anything like the G in the hallmark book.
Thanyou from Gee (Australia)

The date mark is 1981 Birmingham.
WS&P is the Whitehill Silver & Plate Company.
I think your piece is called a decanter label.

Hi there,
Thats right on the hallmarks and on the name of the piece.
Decanter labels have become very popular and collectable bits of silver, examples were made by some of the best silversmiths around. Interestingly some examples have the name of the liquor spelt backwards, as it was believed that the staff couldn’t spell and so wouldn’t know which liquid was which!

Best regards

Surely if the staff couldn’t spell, it wouldn’t matter if the labels were spelled correctly or not! :stuck_out_tongue:

Actually, I would like to see an example of a backward-spelled label; do you have one you could let us see an image of please?

That’s exactly what I said!

I’m sure Daniel will post an example on Monday.

Have a nice weekend // Jonathan

Haha! I didn’t realise I would need to prove myself!

I guess it was assumed that the staff had seen the names of things like Gin, Whiskey, Brandy wirtten down, or on bottles, and so would know what those words looked like.
If it makes you all feel better I will try and find an example to post…


See below:

Daniel - perhaps the backwards spelling is so if the bottle is on a mirrored bar it would read correctly when reflected in the mirror???

Uncle Vic

Daniel. I apologise if I gave the impression I doubted your word, I was genuinely interested to see a mirrored label as I have never seen one before.

Uncle Vic, I don’t think bars in homes came about until the post war (WW II) era, but I like your latteral thinking!

Perhaps the engraver of the label was, himself, a little backwards, or is it possible that the individual image for that composite was mistakenly reversed?

Hi Vic,
No i don’t think it was for that reason. Try writing it down and looking at it in a mirror, you’ll notice the letters are the wrong way round!

It is definitely for the reason i gave earlier…


Yes, Daniel is right.

As Argent says, mirrored bars are a distinctly 20th century idea.

But it can’t be that the label was mistakenly placed in reverse because the letters themselves are not reversed.

The backwards gin label is the ‘holy grail’ of wine labels. It definitely exists but originals are extremely rare and very valuable. However, reproductions were made in the twentieth century. So be sure to check the year if you ever find one.

Is this the moment you produce one from your pocket and offer it for sale? I am only jesting. However,I have now added a reversed decanter label to my “wanted” list!

A very old employee used to say “It’s a sad day when you don’t learn something”. Today is a happy day. Thank you for sharing your knowledge.