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94/223/1 Presentation cup, 'The Sydney Cup', horse racing, gold, designed and made by Christian Ludwig Qwist, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia, 1871. Click to enlarge.

'The Sydney Cup' by Christian Ludwig Qwist

The 1871 Sydney Cup is arguably the finest surviving example of gold racing trophies made in 19th century Australia. The engraved inscription reads: 'The Sydney Cup Handicap Two Miles Won by Mr Twomey's 'MERMAID' 4 yrs carrying 7st 5lb in 3'40 RANDWICK AUTUMN MEETING 1871'. The oil painting 'The Mermaid, the owner and the trainer' by Frederick Woodhouse Snr, also in the Museum's collection (94/223/2), depicts Mermaid, the horse who won the 1871 Sydney Cup.

Horse racing has had a long and …


Object No.


Object Statement

Presentation cup, 'The Sydney Cup', horse racing, gold, designed and made by Christian Ludwig Qwist, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia, 1871

Physical Description

18ct and 22ct, hand-raised Australian gold presentation cup in the form of a standing cup with cover, on a short stem and with a circular foot with chased bands of ovolo and beaded decoration. The lower body with band of acanthus leaves on a mat ground, a band of rope decoration, Greek key, floral scroll and paterae, the plain body applied with scrolls supporting a floral garland forming a cartouche at the centre. With two rising cast and chased handles with Bacchus mask terminals and applied vine leaves, the slender and elongated neck with further bands of decoration and removable cover with bud finial. The cup is engraved in the central cartouche 'The Sydney Cup Handicap Two Miles Won by Mr Twomey's Mermaid'.


Inscription engraved on one side of cup reads: 'The Sydney Cup/handicap/2 miles/won by Mr Twomey's/"MERMAID"/4yrs/carrying 7st 5lb/in 3' 40"/RANDWICK AUTUMN MEETING/1871". Stamped above inscription"C.L.QWIST'. Stamped on rim of foot at back, "18 C.L.QWIST 18". Engraved above cartouche on back "C.L.QWIST"



255 mm



"Christian Ludwig Qwist (1818-1877) Born in Denmark, Qwist arrived in Australia about 1852. Trained as a silversmith and with a professional interest in photography, he commenced his career in Australia on the goldfields of Victoria. Qwist opened a silversmithing workshop in Bendigo about 1856 and soon became one of Australia's finest goldsmiths. He arrived in Sydney in 1860, possibly at the instigation of Julius Hogarth, another Danish silversmith working in Sydney. At first, Qwist worked with the firm of Hogarth, Erichsen & Co, then in 1864 he set up his own workshop at 15 Hunter Street. Among his apprentices was Evan Jones who later became an eminent Sydney silversmith in his own right. Qwist exhibited at the Paris Universal Exhibition of 1867. Only a few examples of his work, all made in Sydney, have survived. The include three silver mounted emu egg cups from the collection of the National Gallery of Victoria, and emu egg claret jug and two goblets held by the Tamworth Gallery, three gold cups, one owned by the National Trust of NSW and two in private collections and a few pieces of smaller jewellery.



Engraving on side of cup as follows 'The Sydney Cup/ handicap/ 2 miles/ won by Mr Twomey's/ "MERMAID"/ 4yrs/ carrying 7st 5lb/ in 3' 40"/ RANDWICK AUTUMN MEETING/ 1871".
Edward Twomey was an owner of race horses. He lived in at 'Langulac', Penshurst, Victoria. His horse Mermaid won the 1871 Sydney Cup.


Credit Line

Purchased 1994

Acquisition Date

13 October 1994

Cite this Object


'The Sydney Cup' by Christian Ludwig Qwist 2023, Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, accessed 1 June 2023, <>


{{cite web |url= |title='The Sydney Cup' by Christian Ludwig Qwist |author=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences |access-date=1 June 2023 |publisher=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, Australia}}