Malvern Trophy - Auckland Cat Club(NZ, 1950)
The Auckland Cat Club was New Zealand's first registered Club, incorporated in 1949 and affiliated with the NZGCCF (Founded 1930). Before this date, it used to hold shows in conjunction with the loosely convened NZ Pekingese & Persian Cat Club dating from 1930. In the NZGCCF Stud-book Volume 1, covering the period September 4, 1930 through to December 31, 1951, can be found numerous entries for cats born as far back as the 1920's. Many of these were bred from cats originally imported from England or Australia; an example of which includes the Blue Persian males 'Prince Leo' (Imp. Eng) (#35), born October 3, 1922. Later imports included 'Carlton Blue Radiance' (Imp. Aust) (#475) born November 10, 1949; 'Royal of Pensford' (Imp. Eng) (#888) born May 12, 1951 and 'Merryman of Dunesk' (Imp.Eng) (#1000) born December 1951.
This specific trophy was donated in 1950 by one of the Clubs founding members, Mrs. E.M. Baggott, whom we find in the same Stud Book, as the breeder of the 'Malvern' cats, including the blue queen 'Malvern Jewel' (#218) born November 23, 1933; and her sire: 'Ch. Malvern Victor' (#21) born in 1925, bred by Mrs. Moss of Christchurch, but owned by Mrs. Baggott and exhibited by her, between 1930 and 1933. So in essence she was one of the oldest and experienced breeders still living at the time that the club became an Incorporated Society in 1949.
The trophy itself is a unique design, being of solid brass, mounted on a rounded wooden plinth, with silver plates curved to fit around the base. The bowl is engraved with an oriental dragon motif. It was donated specifically as a Perpetual Trophy, specifically for the Best Longhaired Blue Kitten (one of Mrs Baggotts specialties). The trophy has four attached plates, the first of which is shown above and these all carry the dates and names of owners and winners from 1950 through to 1990, with only a few years being missed. On the first plate above, we find the name of Mr. B. Marsack's blue male kitten, 'Fernglen Beau Brummel'.
Basil Marsack was active as a breeder/importer, under the 'Fernglen' prefix and is well-known to older New Zealand breeders who can recall his importation of the blue female 'Ronada Ting-A-Ling' from England, bred by Mrs. Doris Brice-Webb.
Below, is picture Mr. Marsack's Blue Persian male kitten, 'Fernglen Beau Brummel' a recipient of the featured Trophy at the Auckland Cat Club Show of 1955.
The Auckland Cat Club recently celebrated the 70th Anniversary of its foundation in 2019, bringing out its impressive display of unique historic trophies (like many clubs, these are no longer handed out), but on this occasion they were polished and beautifully presented along with historic photographs of some of the winners. Such trophies are in fact, valuable historical records as they contain for the most part, the names and dates of cats and their owners/exhibitors, who have contributed to the local breeding scene over multiple generations.
Some of the trophies held in both The CFA Foundation's Collection and The Harrison Weir Collection's archives date back to the earliest days of the Cat Fancy (1880's). They are a tangible reminder of past traditions and another point of reference for matching to registration and/or show records. Sadly, they are too often lost to the dump, when cat fanciers pass away; or fall into the hands of second-hand shops and antique dealers, or, they end up in a box in a club storage facility gathering dust and rust and decaying beyond repair. We would certainly urge those of you that have trophies of historical value, to donate them to one of your nearest Feline History facilities, such as the CFA Foundation, where their historical value will be better appreciated - and properly preserved for the benefit of future feline historians.
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