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Australian Rowing History

Henley on Yarra Challenge Cups

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Founders Challenge Cup


On the motion of Mr John Lang, it was decided "to establish a Founders' Cup as a perpetual trophy for the Junior Eights in order to record the names of the men to whose ideas and work the foundation of the Melbourne Amateur Regatta is due - viz Mr Arthur Blackwood, Mr George Fairbairn and Capt W C Rivett." The design submitted by Messrs Walker & Hall was approved and the Cup ordered to be made in solid silver at a cost not to exceed 70 pounds complete.


A two handled sterling silver cup with an ovoid covered bowl supported on a circular base. The cover is surmounted by a cast Kookaburra finial. The bowl and stem are made separately, the bowl having a threaded spindle which passes through the stem to be secured by a nut beneath the base. The circular base is decorated by bands of beading and gadrooning. The stem rises from the base in the form of a tree trunk spreading to a canopy of leafy foliage which supports the bowl. The cast handles are formed as loops of vine with leaves and fruit. A cast Koala clings to each handle. The bowl is encircled by a band of embossing depicting a panoramic view of the Yarra River between Anderson Street Bridge and Princes Bridge, with three eight-oared crews racing towards the Henley finish. Government House, the Princes Bridge Rowing Clubhouses and the Flinders Street Railway Station buildings are clearly discernible in the panorama. The lip of the bowl and the cover are decorated by a band of geometric chasing. The interior of the bowl and cover are gilded. 


The cover is inscribed by engraving  FOUNDERS CUP. 


The base rim is stamped "Stg. silver" and bears the Walker & Hall Makers Mark. (The letters W&H have been defaced).

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