Previous News - Golden Gift for Cathedral Appeal


30-year delay means trophy is worth even more.

A gold trophy is set to raise £10,000 or more for the Save Canterbury Cathedral Appeal … more than 30 years after it was donated by the chairman of soft drinks company Schweppes Ltd.

It will be sold in the Two Day sale at the Canterbury Auction Galleries on Tuesday and Wednesday, May 24-25, the auctioneer waiving buyer's premium and commission charges so that all proceeds will be added to the appeal.

Viscount De L’Isle was also chairman of the trustees of the cathedral and when the golden challenge cup which his company presented to the English County Golfing Association became redundant some time after 1965, he decided it should be gifted to the cathedral.

The intention was that it should be sold to raise funds for a highly successful appeal in the 1970s which raised £3.5 million for the cathedral after four years. However, for reasons that are unclear, the trophy was never sold and it has remained in the cathedral safe ever since.

Now, the present trustees have decided that the cup should be sold in aid of the latest appeal, which aims to raise £50 million to preserve the fabric of the cathedral and to develop and maintain associated buildings.

The 30-odd year delay in selling the trophy will prove to be to the cathedral's advantage: the value of gold has spiralled over the period, taking its value to £8,000-10,000.

The two-handled nine carat gold cup, the body of which is engraved with the names of the winning societies and participants from 1913 to 1965, has a domed lid with leaf-caped finial and is decorated with leaf ornament and lion's mask drop handles. It stands on an onyx circular plinth inset with a band of lapis lazuli. It was made by London goldmiths Elkington and Co in 1913 and weighs 27.5 ounces.

The trophy will be on view at the auctioneer’s Station Road West salerooms alongside the fine art, antiques and collectors’ items also in the sale on Saturday May 21 from 10am to 4pm; Sunday May 22 from 12 noon to 4pm; Monday May 23 from 10am to 7pm and on the morning of the sales from 8.30am. For further information, please contact the auctioneer on 01227 763337.

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