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    Description

    1890 Harvard University Football First Collegiate Championship Trophy. It's widely considered the most important gridiron affair in the history of Harvard, the Crimson breaking an eight-game losing streak to storied rival Yale to complete its first undefeated season and claim the college football national championship. But the significance extends beyond that inaugural glory. These early Ivy League battles were instrumental in shaping the evolution of the sport, altering the rule book, the field size, and the uniforms worn.

    This 1890 contest was the first Harvard vs. Yale battle waged on neutral ground, played in Springfield, Massachusetts, the same town where Dr. James Naismith would invent the sport of basketball just a year later. This would be the first of multiple meetings between these schools at Springfield, each game growing increasingly more violent until the "Springfield Massacre" of 1894 resulted in a two-year suspension of the tradition.

    This is the most important relic to emerge from these games, and arguably the most significant Harvard football collectible, bar none. The sterling silver trophy mug was issued to a tackle/guard on the victorious team, gorgeously engraved, "Harvard 12 - Yale 6, Springfield, Nov. 22, 1890, James Ralph Finlay From Harvard Graduates in New York."

    The particulars of the presentation have been lost to history, but the relic's status as the only known trophy from the game that brought Harvard its first national championship elevates it to the pinnacle of football collecting intrigue. It survives the passage of twelve decades with little more than tarnishing and the scattered light dent to document its advanced age, measuring six inches (6") in height and four inches (4") across the mouth, not including the handle. "Whiting" maker's mark on base, indicating creation by the most prestigious silver trophy maker of the day. Serial number dates the cup to 1890.


    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    August, 2016
    27th-28th Saturday-Sunday
    Internet/Mail Bids: 14
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
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