DESIGN FOR RACING CUPS
Sir, I often see in the journals illustrations of Racing Cups, which make me pine, not for their possession, but for an article in the 'Builder' dealing with these things as you dealt with the jewellery. Teapots and sugar-basins have mended their ways, and have given up their old gouty forms, but sporting plate clings to models which might hail from the catalogue of the 1851 Exhibition. This year’s Manchester Cup, for instance, seems, from its portrait in the 'St. James's Budget', to be so bad that the jockeys might be expected to refuse to ride for such a thing if they saw it. Figures of Truth and Prudence, virtues delightfully appropriate for a nineteenth century turf trophy, are perched on weak little brackets to form the handles, and Fame, on a very reduced scale, stands on the lid. Tiny lions, rampant, squat on an unsafe astragal at the base, beside wreaths big enough for them to jump through. The whole thing appears to be built up out of a jumble of stock details, regardless of their respective scales. The authorship is claimed by a great firm, of course ; it is always so with these things, except in the case of minor provincial meetings, when our fellow-towns-man, the local jeweller, suppresses the big firm’s name and substitutes his own, not as having designed, but as having sold the prize, a far more difficult matter one would think, if one did not know how complete is the divorce of art from sport. It would be interesting to learn whether the prices have, like the patterns, stood still, or whether, with silver at about half the old rate, the trophies are either half the old price or double the old weight.
L. C. R.
Source: The Builder - 29th June 1895