A Fine Pair of Commemorative Wine Labels

Leslie Durbin
2.5" long
2 oz

A good pair of 20th Century cast wine labels, the back plates shaped and engraved to resemble drapes, each end with a lion rampant affronte and the arched tops capped with the coronation crown of Queen Elizabeth II.


Private vendor

A matching pair for Port and Sherry were sold by Woolley and Wallis, The Arthur Holder Collection part II, 24th January 2017, lot 618.

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When Princess Elizabeth  became Queen in 1953 Leslie Durbin was probably the most celebrated contemporary silversmith so it is not surprising that he chose to make these high quality wine labels to mark the crowning of the new monarch.

Durbin trained at the Central School of Arts and Crafts having won a scholarship there and from an early age was talented at drawing. On leaving the School he was apprenticed to Omar Ramsden and one of his tasks was to engrave "Omar Ramsden Me Fecit" which was a house tradition going back to Ramsden's earliest association with Alwyn Carr at the end of the 19th century. His most influential commission was the making of The Sword of Honour For Stalingrad which was heralded as the greatest British sword since Excalibur. It was presented to Stalin by Churchill on 24th November 1943. From this moment on Durbin's career really took off and after the war his workshop was one of the busiest in London. Susan Hare, former Librarian at the Goldsmiths' Hall, when writing in the 1982 retrospective catalogue of Durbin's work said " Leslie Durbin's designs in the early 50's were like a breath of fresh spring air in their innovative quality, while still retaining a strong feeling for the symbolic". These words resonate in the design of the wine labels.