An astonished and delighted North Devon man has discovered thanks to Bonhams that the brass horseracing cup he'd left in cupboard for years is in fact a solid gold trophy from the Durban Gold Cup circa 1931.
The cup, estimated to be worth £15,000 to £20,000 will be sold at Bonhams South African art sale on March 20 in London. This very distinctive trophy was made by Deakin and Francis, Birmingham.
Charles Lanning, Bonhams Regional Director in Devon explains how the cup came to Bonhams: "The cup belonged to our Devon clients grandfather and then to his father and he inherited from there. It has been in the same wardrobe for 20 years and has not seen the light of day. Its current owner asked a relative one day to research it and see if it had a value, otherwise it was off to the car boot sale, and that was when Bonhams got involved."
The 9ct gold trophy, 'The Durban Gold Cup' was won by Le Vin Chaud, owned by William J Jackson, grandfather of the current owner. William J Jackson emigrated to South Africa and settled in Durban where he became a successful owner of racehorses, winning two other premier races. When he died the three cups were passed to his three sons, Percy, Don and Harry, Harry was the present owners grandfather. Harry also had a love of horses and he held the rank of Captain in the famous Cavalry regiment the 17/21 Lancers.
The Gold Cup still takes place every year on the Greyville course, in Durban and is South Africa's premier stayers contest run over two miles (3,200m), it was first raced in 1926 when won by Sir Abe Bailey's "Sun Lad".