Home > History of Wine, Image > “We were in time favored with your letter”: Anatomy of a Madeira letter

“We were in time favored with your letter”: Anatomy of a Madeira letter


Assorted Madeira letters from the author’s collection.

I have enjoyed reading many 18th and 19th century letters regarding Madeira wine both online and in person. The survival of these letters is amazing. There is a thrill I feel whenever I have viewed them at libraries or from the collection of Mannie Berk (The Rare Wine Co.). The descriptions found within, of various wines, vintages, and even oak staves, have appeared in many posts on this blog. I have, however, never addressed the physical letters themselves.

Over the last few months I acquired a small collection of letters addressed to the firm of Cossart, Gordon and Company at Madeira dating from 1763 – 1840. That these letters are even available for purchase stems back to the late 1970s and early 1980s when many were sold off for philatelic value. It is these letters that I have largely purchased. Over the next few posts I will present pictures from my collection to illustrate the anatomy of a Madeira letter.

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