Offered is a very unique, antique silver plated trophy. This trophy was designed circa 1900 as the prize for a winner of a rowing competition. The beautifully modeled trophy depicts a competitor standing atop a round silver base, with his right arm extended in the air. In his hand he holds a circular wreath, symbolic of victory. At his left side is a long rowing oar, attached to the trophy at the base. The entire piece is mounted on a dark wooden base. Though the piece does not include any inscriptions or initials, this trophy was most likely awarded as a symbol of victory to the winner in a rowing tournament or competition during the early 20th century.
The sport of rowing has been in existence as long as humans have traveled the water by boat. The first reference to rowing as a sport, and not simply as a means of transportation, comes from a fifteenth century BC Egyptian funerary carving. The writer Virgil mentioned rowing as part of the funeral games for Aeneas. During the Middle Ages, Italian Carnevale often featured regatta races that pitted the nation’s best rowers against one another. The first modern rowing competitions can be traced to renaissance England, where guilds sponsored boats to compete in the “Lord Mayor’s Water Procession” beginning in 1454. The “Doggett’s Coat and Badge” race is the oldest continuously held boat race in the world, the race between London Bridge and Chelsea Harbor has been held annually since 1715.
Considering its age, this silver piece is in good condition. No severe signs of damage, besides light tarnish and discoloration. Figure is missing left forearm and hand, though the oar that it would have held is attached at the base of the trophy and is thus intact.
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