MastroNet December 2005
This lot is closed for bidding. Bidding ended on:
Born in Sicily in 1883, Vincenzo Florio developed an early fascination with cars and with the adventurous road races taking place in Europe around the turn of the twentieth century. Florio was a competitive driver himself, but today he is best remembered as one of racing's great organizers and a catalyst for the success of Italian drivers and Italian-made cars. His prestigious Targa Florio race was held 57 times between 1906 and 1973, the first year being a 275-mile course around Sicily for which the winner received a plaque made by René Lalique. The idea for the Targa Florio had come to the young Vincenzo in 1905—the same year that his Grand Prix event known as the Coppa Florio was held on September 9 in Brescia, Italy. Vincenzo competed in the 1905 Coppa Florio, but the event was won by Giovanni Battista Raggio in a car made by the manufacturer Itala. Here presented is the victory plaque from that historic, high-profile, pre-Targa Florio event. Measuring 2-5/16" x 1-1/16", the gilded-silver plaque features a bas-relief, mermaid-themed race car image that reads in raised lettering, at the top, "GAGNÉE PAR ITALA," and along the bottom, "COPPA VINCENZO FLORIO - 1905." On the reverse, an arching leaf design heralds the location and date, "RICORDO BRESCIA 1905." One of the thin sides is engraved by the silversmith, "POLAK AINÉ - 18 RUE DE LA PAIX - PARIS." The elite plaque, which displays on a hinged white backing board bearing the pertinent details handwritten in French, boasts Near Mint condition and retains the majority of its fabulous gilded patina.
1905 Sterling Silver Coppa Florio Winner's Award Plaque - One Year Before the Inception of the Targa Florio!
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