Oldest surviving FA Cup trophy to be sold at auction

Oldest surviving FA Cup trophy to be sold at auction

Having spent years displayed at the National Football Museum in Manchester, the oldest surviving FA Cup football trophy is set to be sold at auction later this month.

With a guide price of £700,000 to £900,000, the sale is sure to cause a stir. One of the most iconic engraved awards, it has been described as ‘an astonishing piece of football history’, detailing winners of the competition during its early years.

Despite being made in 1895, the piece being auctioned is not the first iteration of the trophy. From its first season in 1872, FA Cup winners received the original, known as the ‘little tin idol’. The coveted prize was made for £20 and was loaned to winning clubs for over 20 years.

However, in 1895, while in the care of Aston Villa, the trophy was stolen. It was never found, and is thought to have been melted down to produce counterfeit half-crown coins. The trophy’s replica, today’s oldest surviving version, was passed to winning clubs for 15 years before Manchester United, the competition’s 1909 winners, made their own celebratory replica.

The FA then realised it did not own the design copyright and decided the trophy needed a new look. The 1910 redesign produced what we recognise as the FA Cup trophy today; a chunkier style measuring 61.5cm high. Since then, the same design has been reproduced twice more.

The ‘little tin idol’ replica holds the history of early football. There will be many fans watching the outcome of its auction on September 29.

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