Auction PR Publicity Announcements News and Information
Auction PR Publicity Announcements News and Information


Rediscovered Historic Object Estimated $60,000 to $80,000

BOSTON, Mass. – Skinner, Inc., one of the nation’s leading auction houses for antiques and fine art, announces it will auction a 1947 Kentucky Derby 14 kt Gold Winner’s Trophy and Commemorative Mint Julep Cup, won by the American thoroughbred racehorse Jet Pilot, owned by Elizabeth Arden. The trophy will go on the block in Skinner’s June 7th auction of American Furniture & Decorate Arts. It is estimated at $60,000 to $80,000. Skinner is expecting interest to come from racing enthusiasts and collectors of sporting memorabilia.

kentucky-derby-trophy.jpgDescended through the family of Elizabeth Arden, the trophy had been considered all but lost by Derby fans. Now rediscovered in time for the 135th Derby, this memento can be a bidder’s prize. The Kentucky Derby gold winner’s trophy is believed to be the only solid gold trophy annually awarded to the winner of a major American sporting event since 1924, the “Golden Anniversary” of the Derby. The year 1947 was the 73rd running of the Derby and it was the first Derby race to feature a photo finish.

“Skinner’s Americana auctions are all about honoring the cultural heritage of this country,” notes Chris Barber, Americana specialist at Skinner. “When it comes to horse races, there’s nothing more American than the Kentucky Derby. This trophy is a fun slice of American history, with rock solid provenance, and it is simply breathtaking. We’re very pleased to present it at auction.”

The trophy was presented to Elizabeth Arden, the notable cosmetics firm owner and known in horse racing circles as Elizabeth Graham, on May 3rd, 1947 at Churchill Downs when her winning horse Jet Pilot, racing under her Maine Chance Farm colors, broke from post position thirteen and took the lead, never relinquishing it, beating favorite Phalanx who placed 2nd and Faultless who took third. Jet Pilot’s jockey was Eric Guerin, and his trainer was Tom Smith, best known as the trainer for the renowned Seabiscuit. The win margin of the race was 3 1/2 in 2:05 2/5.

For more information on the trophy or any Skinner auction, call 508-970-3000, or visit Skinner on the web at

Skinner’s website now features real-time online bidding via the SkinnerLive! bid applet and visitors can view all lots in the auctions, leave bids, and order catalogs online. Prices realized will be available on the website during and after the sale.