Today marks the start of global tennis tournament, Wimbledon. White tennis shoes will be dusted off and copious amounts of strawberries and cream will be eaten as players battle it out for one of the Jewellery Quarter’s very own trophies!
Did you know that the Jewellery Quarter has been providing sporting trophies since the 19th century? Locally made awards range from Wimbledon trophies to the 1948 Olympic torch.
The men’s singles trophy and ladies’ singles Championship Plate, also known as Rosewater Dish, that will be awarded at this year’s Wimbledon, were created in the Jewellery Quarter by local silversmiths, Elkington and Co.
Brothers George and Henry Elkington founded the company in the 1830s and at its peak employed more than 2,5000 workers at their Jewellery Quarter-based factory.
The Wimbledon Rosewater Dish was created in 1864 and is a mixture of silver and silver-gilt (silver coated with gold). The success of this trophy resulted in the company being acquired again years later by the All England Tennis Club to create a new men’s trophy.
When the winners of the men’s and ladies’ singles hold their trophies victoriously this year, they will be holding a small piece of Jewellery Quarter history in their hands.
The Quarter is still one of the leading players in the development of sporting trophies, alongside the Wimbledon cup, an FA cup, Lonsdale champion belts, Premier League medals and the 1948 Olympic torch all of which were created in the Jewellery Quarter.
For more information about our trophy-making history, check out this brilliant write-up from the BBC: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-birmingham-27800027