Richmond Cup horse racing trophies could gallop to $108,000

The work of the renowned 18th century Scottish architect Robert Adam will feature in a Bonhams sale on June 20 - in the unusual form of two silver Richmond Cup horse racing trophies.

Adam was a highly successful architect and designer whose work spearheaded the "classical revival" of the mid-18th century, along with influencing generations of architects around the world.

He designed the Richmond Cup - a silver trophy awarded to the winner of the annual Richmond Gold Cup race - in 1757 after being commissioned by Thomas Dundas. Adam had previously worked extensively for his father, Sir Laurence Dundas, on whose land the event was held.


silver richmond horse racing cup
The 1757 silver Richmond Cup, valued at £50,000 - £70,000

The race was held each year from 1757 until 1858 and a new cup, based on Adam's original design, was presented to each winner. The two examples set to appear at auction later this month date from 1773 and 1784, and were awarded to the racehorses Perdita and Phenomenon, respectively.

The quality of the silver and Adam's reputation make the two cups highly desirable to collectors, and they are expected to sell for £50,000-70,000 each.

The sale follows hot on the heels of a Christie's auction earlier this month, which saw the 1783 gold Doncaster Cup sold for a record price of £32,450. With a previous example of the cup dated 1778 having sold for £20,700 in 2008 (an increase of more than 56% in just four years), the demand for top pieces of horse racing history is clearly on the up.

You can take a look at our superb selection of sporting memorabilia and autographs for sale here.

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