The History of Trophies
As human being’s, the desire to be recognised for achievement or a job well done is part of our psychological makeup, and therefore the tradition of presenting awards to recognise achievement has great merit.
Dating back to ancient Greece, the word trophy, derived from the Greek “Tropaion”, referred to arms, standards, other property or human captives and body parts captured in battle!
Trophies in ancient times often took the form of magnificent statues, columns and arches. Stone columns were particularly prevalent in Rome and were generally dedicated to gods. Smaller trophies were also awarded with victors crowned with twisted olive branches, in fact this was the case at the original Olympic Games, thus creating a status symbol to aspire to for elite performers.
The Middle Ages is however the era that has given us trophies more in line with today’s awards. The chalice, often in the form of a two handled metal cup, was awarded to winners of sporting events as early as the 17th century, and today this type of award still holds great prestige, with many larger sporting events presenting chalice like awards.
Today, awards and trophies come in many forms. Medals are often presented in team sports whilst perpetual shields hold the history of the victors for generations. With the introduction of new technologies over the years, trophies are no longer just made in metal and timber. Resin, acrylic and glass trophies are now some of the most popular choices, along with more traditional metal cups.