Racing trophy awarded by Queen Victoria could fetch £30,000 at auction

The trophy and its engraved stand were recently reunited.

23 February 2022

A recently rediscovered horse racing trophy awarded by Queen Victoria in 1845 could fetch £30,000 at auction next month.

Dubbed Her Majesty’s Vase, the silver piece was won by Sir John Barker-Mill at the Plymouth, Devon and Cornwall horse races and passed down through his family.

However, the trophy was separated from its stand and the award’s significance was forgotten over time.

Both pieces were recently brought back together when Sir John’s living relatives discovered the engraved base in an outbuilding.

Her Majesty’s Vase (Chiswick Auctions/PA)

The trophy is expected to fetch between £20,000 and £30,000 when it goes under the hammer at Chiswick Auctions in London in March.

It was commissioned for the races by Queen Victoria and crafted by silversmith John Samuel Hunt, and inspired by an ancient vase dating from the 2nd century AD that was found in fragments in 1770 at the bottom of a lake at Hadrian’s Villa near Rome.

John Rogers, head of silver at Chiswick Auctions, said: “I am thrilled to offer such a stunning historical piece, made with such craftsmanship.

“The fact that it remained with the family for so long without them knowing what it was, is astounding and I’m delighted that both the vase and plinth were reunited and it can be offered in its full glory.”

It will feature during the Silver and Objects of Vertu sale at Chiswick Auctions on March 3.

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