In 1777 William Bass, the owner of a carrying business between London and Manchester, established a brewery in Burton-on-Trent. The Department of Registration of Trademarks opened in London on January 1, 1876. The first registered trademark was the red triangle of Bass & Co. which had already been in use for twenty years During the nineteenth century, the company's beer became known throughout the world. The company's rapid growth and profitability were by-words in Victorian Britain. Michael Thomas Bass (1799-1884), the architect of its greatness, was very much the doyen of Victorian brewers.
The bottles of Bass in Manet's painting are exotic foreign beer, suggesting luxury rather than the commonplace. But why are the bottles of champagne not chilled?