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Wimbledon Top 10: The trophies

The Gentlemen's Singles trophy on display
by Mark Hodgkinson
Sunday 7 July 2013

Every player wants one. In the last of the daily top 10s, Wimbledon.com brings you some facts about the trophies.

1. When the gentlemen's singles trophy was introduced in 1887, the All England Club, who had spent 100 guineas on the trophy, decided that the cup would never become the property of anyone who won the tournament three years in succession. William Renshaw had previously been awarded the Field Cup and the Challenge Cup after twice winning the title three years in succession. 

2. The top of the trophy for the gentleman's singles has a pineapple design. There has been some suggestion that this could be because captains in the British Navy returning from long voyages traditionally put a pineapple on their gatepost at home.

3. The inscription on the side of the gentlemen's singles trophy reads, 'The All England Lawn Tennis Club Single-Handed Champion of the World'. The Cup, which is made of silver gilt, stands 18 inches high and has a diameter of 7.5 inches.

4. The names of the champions are engraved around the bowl, but in 2009, with no space left, a black plinth with an ornamented silver band was designed to go with the Cup.

5. The silver Venus Rosewater Dish, which was first presented to the ladies' singles champion in 1886, is decorated with mythological figures. On the central boss is the figure of Temperance, seated on a chest with a lamp in her right hand and a jug in her left, with various attributes such as a sickle, fork and caduceus around her. The four reserves on the boss of the dish each contain a classical god, together with elements. The reserves around the rim show Minerva presiding over the seven liberal arts: astrology, geometry, arithmetic, music, rhetoric, dialectic and grammar. 

6. The Rosewater Dish, which has a diameter of 18 and three-quarter inches, is a copy of an electrotype from a pewter original kept in the Louvre.

7. The singles champions receive three-quarter size replicas of the trophies. That practice began in 1949.

8. The men's doubles champions win a silver trophy that was donated by Oxford University Lawn Tennis Club in the nineteenth century. 

9. The ladies' doubles champions are presented with The Duchess of Kent Challenge Cup, which is made of silver. It was donated in 1949 by Princess Marina, who was then the All England Club's president. 

10. The mixed doubles trophy was donated to the All England Club by the family of Sydney Smith, a doubles champion.  


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