The History of Trophies You Might Not Know About

Posted on

The History of Trophies You Might Not Know About

A trophy is an object that is usually given to someone because of an accomplishment. These are often given out through sporting events. Trophies come in many shapes and sizes. A trophy can be in the shape of a cup, a bowl, a plaque, a mug that is usually painted or engraved with something, a human shape, or a spaceship. 

Here are some historical facts about trophies you might not know about: –


1. The word trophy also originated from Greek tropaion, from trope, “rout”. 1513 was the first recording of the word “trophy” as “a spoil or prize of war,” from French trophée from Latin word “trophæum” which translates to “a sign of victory, monument,” originally tropæum, from Greek tropaion “monument of an enemy’s defeat”.


2. Throughout the history of mankind, trophies have been a method to reward and commemorate victories. Back in ancient Greece, soldiers would gather the captured arms, standards and other more gruesome spoils to hang on a tree or stake so that it resembled a warrior after a successful and victorious battle. It was common to have details of the battle inscribed on the monument and they would honour the gods they worshipped. Throughout history, the concept of taking a trophy from your enemy has been a way of proudly proving your victory and supremacy to those around you. 


3. Trophies were later used as rewards for sporting prowess in the Olympic games, there would be laurel wreaths and then later amphora’s containing sacred olive oil, bronze shields and silver cups, although the latter were mostly in local games. When the modern Olympics were formed in 1896 first place would be awarded a silver medal, this was because silver was a more precious metal at this time.


4. Trophies in the form of medals are commonly used to recognise war heroes in the UK and the rest of the world. One of the most notable is the Victoria Cross and the George cross. You might often see highly decorated war veterans on D-Day showing how brave and valiant they have been with the medals on their chest glinting in the sunlight.


5. In the 19th century, trophies gained popularity in rewarding winners of sporting events grand and expensive trophies, many of these were manufactured in Birmingham’s famous jewellery quarter. One of the most distinguishable trophies would be the Wimbledon ladies and men’s single trophies. Birmingham is the home to some of the best gold and silversmiths in the UK and it is unsurprising that we have manufactured some of the most exquisite trophies around.


6. In the modern days, trophies are now widely produced and used to reward not only sports people and war heroes but also given to school children for rewarding academic success, actors for their roles in movies, exceptional writers, artists and maybe one of the most important and memorable awards in our time the Nobel peace prize.


Trophies have a rich history and have been used over the years as a way of commemorating victories and successes for many on different occasions. They are given to as an award and/or reward to the receiver as a form to celebrate the success of a winning.