For centuries, individuals and organisations have turned to Garrard to capture the pride and glory of that moment in gold or silver. From yachting’s America’s Cup to football’s Premier League trophy, many of the world’s most iconic symbols of victory began their life in the House studio.
First to find its place in the House’s trophy cabinet was the Gold Cup for Royal Ascot. This meeting was founded by Queen Anne in 1711 and has been attended by the royal family ever since. In 1842 it was decided that the winner of its most notable race should receive a trophy to keep in perpetuity. This would be paid for and presented by the reigning monarch and so had to meet his or her approval.
The first of Garrard’s many Royal Ascot designs was a sculptural group, depicting the Black Prince’s victory at the Battle of Crécy. Elaborate chivalric scenes were much to Queen Victoria’s taste, but over the years styles changed. Garrard’s most recent Gold Cup designs owe more to the restrained elegance of their 1930s’ antecedents.
Other royal commissions included the solid gold George V Gold Trophy, made in 1911 for the King to present at the International Horse Show. It was won in 1939 by the Italian showjumper Conte Bettoni-Cazzago, who kept it safe for the duration of the Second World War by hiding it in the grounds of his villa.
Nearly a century after this commission, in 2012, Garrard was asked by HRH Prince Harry to create medals for the Invictus Games. This event enables ill or wounded armed service personnel and veterans to take part in a major sporting event. Working with the Prince, Garrard developed an embossed pattern design reminiscent of stitching, to represent the journey to rehabilitation that participants have been through.
In 2012, Garrard was asked by HRH Prince Harry to create medals for the Invictus Games
Of all Britain’s racing meetings, Royal Ascot is unusual in giving a new Gold Cup, Royal Hunt Cup and Queen’s Vase each year. Others came to Garrard for a trophy that would serve for centuries. In some cases, the House reacquired past masterpieces to fulfil this function. A ewer and basin made for the Bristol City fathers in 1735 became the Doncaster Race Cup in 1876. A sculptural centrepiece made for the Duke of Buckingham in 1831-32 became the Manchester Cup in 1893. These were proof, if needed, of the enduring quality of the House’s output from its beginnings as a silversmith in 1735.
In 1848, six years after the Royal Ascot commission, Garrard received another important request: the 1st Marquess of Anglesey wanted to gift a silver ewer to the Royal Yacht Squadron. Three years later this ewer was awarded to the schooner America on winning a race around the Isle of Wight. So began its path towards becoming the America’s Cup: the world’s oldest international sporting trophy.
From horse and yacht races to golf and cricket tournaments, Garrard has created trophies for them all. In 1999 the House designed the first-ever permanent trophy for the ICC Cricket World Cup. In a pleasing play on the sport’s symbols, a gold cricket ball is supported by three silver stumps and bails, which represent batting, bowling and fielding.
Around its base are inscribed all its winners to date. More recently Garrard helped to welcome the return of the British Masters Gold Tournament to the tour schedule, with the creation of a 17-inch double-handled silver trophy. Its classically elegant design and substantial scale pay homage to the legacy and significance of golf in Britain.
There is perhaps one Garrard prize that has been seen by more people around the world than any other. The Premier League trophy has been raised aloft by captains of six football teams including Manchester United, Chelsea and Arsenal since it was made in 1993.
The trophy stands on a green malachite base, to symbolise the playing field, and includes the three heraldic lions of English football. Two are featured above its handles and the third is represented by the player who lifts the trophy and its crown above his head, as captain of the season’s winning team.
Pride, triumph and spectacle come together in the trophies, cups and medals designed by the House Studio over the years.