‘Car boot sale cup’ worth £20,000

The Durban Gold Cup, hidden in a North Devon cupboard for 20 years, could fetch up to £20,000 when i

The Durban Gold Cup, hidden in a North Devon cupboard for 20 years, could fetch up to £20,000 when it goes under the hammer in March. - Credit: Archant

A trophy found in a North Devon cupboard after 20 years is off to auction after turning out to be valuable horse racing cup.

A ‘BRASS’ cup left in a North Devon cupboard for years and threatened with the car boot sale has turned out to be a solid gold South African horse racing trophy.

Now the Durban Gold Cup, dating from 1931, could net its owner up to £20,000 when it goes under the hammer at a London auction in March.

“The cup belonged to our client’s grandfather and then to his father and he inherited from there,” explained Charles Lanning, regional director for fine art and antiques auction house Bonhams.

“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 distinctive nine carat gold trophy was made by Deakin and Francis in Birmingham and 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.

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When he died the three cups were passed to his three sons, Percy, Don and Harry, who was the present owner’s 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 two mile Gold Cup race still takes place every year on the Greyville course in Durban and is a well known fixture of the South African horse racing calendar.

The cup is estimated to be worth £15,000 to £20,000 and will be sold at the Bonhams South African Art sale on March 20 in London.

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