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Wood & Hughes Coin Silver Rowing Trophy, New York City, 1867

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Wood & Hughes from New York City made some spectacular silver and this trophy cup is no exception. This oversized cup is beautifully designed with a simple flared pedestal base decorated on the edge with a line of fine beading. The section above the base is a dramatic repeating hanging classical leaf design below a row of applied large ball banding. A fantastic scene adorns the front of the cup which is totally plain aside from this area. Outlining the reserve are repoussed and chased scrolls ornamented with floral clusters. Inside the reserve is the inscription:

Awarded to/ Mutual Boat Club
Distance 3 miles Time 25 m 10 sec

Underneath the presentation is a repousséd and chased scene of two rowing teams on a river. Each crew is depicted using sweep oars which means one oar per person as opposed to sculls which is using a pair of oars. In the background can be seen a mountain range with a small cottage depicted on one of them. The quality and fineness of the chasing is just wonderful. Another great feature is the dramatic handle with flaring leaf thumb-piece behind a superb, cast female bust gazing into the cup. Here again the attention to detail is magnificent with the soft facial expression and flowing hair.

Boat clubs were very fashionable and exciting events with many cities challenging and competing against one another. The schedules and results were usually written up in papers including The New York Times. The Mutual Boat Club was from Albany, New York and partook in numerous races on the Hudson River for many years. It was part of the Hudson Amateur Rowing Association which 'was one of the first of its kind ever formed and one of the most prominent in the United States' (The New York Times, Aug 25, 1895).

This rare trophy is marked underneath 'W&H, 900/1000'. It measures 8.5 inches high by 6.5 across the handle, weighs 21.85 troy ounces and is in excellent antique condition.