When our visitors walk into the Replacements, Ltd. Museum, many are stunned by the wide variety of sterling silver pieces that we carry. Recently, Replacements, Ltd. acquired the John B. McDonald Trophy. This beautifully crafted sterling trophy was produced between 1902 and 1907 by Tiffany and Co. of New York. Tiffany and Co. began making trophies in the early 20th century. Today, Tiffany and Co. produces the Vince Lombardi Super Bowl Trophy as well the Super Bowl champion rings. The John B. McDonald Trophy weighs more than 250 troy ounces and some estimates have indicated that its value could be $100,000 or more!
The John B. McDonald Trophy was commissioned by John Watson Cox for the Oakland Golf Club in Bayside, New York. John B. McDonald was a poor Irish immigrant who, later, designed the New York subway system. McDonald represented the American dream to all who knew him. He developed his engineering abilities by working in masonry and construction. He never received a formal education. On March 18, 1911, a New York Times obituary for McDonald said, “So long as the trains run through the Subway, that is, so long as New York City endures, John B. McDonald will be remembered.”
John Watson Cox was a wealthy business man and leader in the Democratic Party. He solicited Tiffany and Co. to produce the trophy as a celebration of McDonald’s engineering achievements. The trophy was presented to the Oakland Golf Club. The Oakland Golf Club was the second oldest and most exclusive club of the northeast. Today, the McDonald Trophy remains a sterling tribute to man’s ingenuity and ability to build. To read more about the history of Tiffany and Co., please click here. If you would like to see a list of Tiffany and Co.’s sterling patterns, then please click here.