Friday, April 1, 2016

The Gordon Bennett Cup

Kind of an artless-looking lump, this self-named trophy was provided by the owner of the New York Herald for the Gordon Bennett trophy motor races held in various places in Europe from 1900 till 1905. He was an avid support of the new technologies, he also established "Cups" for ballooning and air racing.


Anonymous said...

It's said that 'there's no accounting for taste'; so true.

The trophy's questionable artistic merits aside, it no doubt draws its figures from classical antiquity. People's educations in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries would likely have familiarized them with such figures, much more so than is the case today.

I take the 'goddess' figure to be 'Winged Victory'. (Roman Victoria or Greek Nike.) The scantily-clad young man might be Hermes, a Greek Olympian god who, according to Wikipedia. "...was believed to have invented many types of racing...".

So there we are. I'm not certain that I've interpreted the trophy correctly, but the above outline seems plausible.

Mister G said...

Thanks for your considered comment... it certainly illustrates a time of extravagance and optimism. I thought it was interesting that a New York newspaper owner was sponsoring European races.