The trophy was designed by Royal Doulton, the famous English
ceramics manufacturer established in 1815. It is made in three
parts - a wooden base with a crystal cut glass cup and lid. Around
the base, silver plaques are inscribed with the winning teams. The
cup is engraved with the Australian wallaby and the England rose.
Standing at nearly three foot tall - 86cm/34in - and being very
heavy (contained in its travel case, it weighs 44.5kg/7st), the cup
is as unwieldy as it is fragile. The museum team have nightmares
whenever it needs to be moved!
To highlight the shared history of the two countries, the cup
was named after the English explorer and cartographer, Captain
James Cook (1728-1779), who made the first-recorded European
contact with the eastern coast of Australia in 1770. During his
voyages around the Pacific, New Zealand and Australia, Cook charted
coastlines not previously included on European maps, drastically
changing Western understanding of world geography. In recent years,
there has been much debate about Cook's legacy and the
ill-treatment of the Indigenous peoples he encountered on his
voyages. Earlier this year it was decided that the cup bearing his
name would be retired and replaced with a new trophy which better
represents the two countries.