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Davis Cup: Trophy Fast Facts

May 25, 2008 12:40 PM

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A Tradition is Born
  • In 1900, American Dwight Davis commissioned the trophy from Shreve, Crump & Low Co. of Boston, Mass., which assigned the task to the William B. Durgin Company in Concord, N.H.
  • Rowland Rhodes, an English-born designer, crafted the bowl from 217 ounces of silver – 13-inch-tall cup, 18-inch diameter bowl, top edge carved with primroses and acanthus leaves.
  • Cost in 1900: about $1,000; cost to reproduce today: $200,000 (cup only); cup and plinths about $600,000.

The Evolution of the Cup

  • Names of the players from both the winner and runner-up teams are engraved on the trophy – the never-ending need for space has led to the addition of accompanying silver tablets on circular bases.
    • The third and most recent plinth (the largest) was added in 2002, increasing the height of the trophy to 3’7” and weight to 231 lbs.
  • The Davis Cup has been presented 95 times since it was first contested in 1900.
  • World’s only major sporting cup to have lasted a full century.
  • Considered the oldest, most prestigious and most cherished of all the trophies in tennis.
Globetrotting with the Davis Cup Trophy
  • After Australasia defeated the U.S. in the 1908 final, the Davis Cup trophy moved to Australian tennis star Norman Brookes’ home in Melbourne. It remained on a sideboard in his elegant dining room until his wife, Mabel, felt the Cup dominated their other decorative ornaments and it was sent to a Melbourne bank vault.
  • After Britain defeated France in the 1933 Davis Cup Final at Roland Garros, Henri Cochet and Fred Perry brought the trophy to various night clubs in Paris in celebration.
  • The Davis Cup spent both World Wars in a bank vault in New York.
  • The Cup is now in the care of the International Tennis Federation and travels to the Davis Cup Final each year.

A Trophy by Any Other Name

  • Officially titled the International Lawn Tennis Challenge Trophy but has long been known simply as the Davis Cup.
  • Dwight Davis’ friends lightheartedly referred to the trophy as “Dwight’s pot.”


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