Woodward Challenge Cup (1903)

Classification Awards
Category Trophy
Artifact Woodward Challenge Cup
Date 1903
Connection Silver Tabby longhair, Onyx of Gladdisfenn
Gladdisfenn Cattery
Collection The CFA Foundation's Feline Historical Museum
Description A 6" copper trophy with silver handles, engraved "Won by Onyx of Gladdisfenn".
Brief History Possibly an award from a 1903 Beresford Cat Club or Chicago Cat Club show held in Joliet, IL.
Acquisiton Purchased by The CFA Foundation, May 2020

Woodward Challenge Cup, 1903
Engraved "For Best Silver Tabby under NCS Rules"

Photo used with permission.

During the late 1800s and early 1900s, the cat fancy in the United States was still experiencing growing pains. This trophy is engraved as being won at a show in Joliet, IL. In nearby Chicago, two clubs struggled for dominance - the Beresford Cat Club and the Chicago Cat Club. The Beresford Club would emerge as the stronger club, and while its executive members remained from the Chicago area, it was deemed a "national" club because of its members being spread all acorss the USA. The Chicago Cat Club tended to remain a "local" club. The Beresford Cat Club registered cats and published four volumes of studbooks, surviving despite political coups and insurrections, before forming the basic structure that became the American Cat Association in 1906.

This particular trophy was awarded under "NCS Rules" for "Best Silver Tabby". "NCS" may possibly refer to "National Cat Show" as many clubs of the era tended to so label their shows. It is within the realm of possibility that either of the Chicago area clubs mentioned above could have produced this show in nearby Joliet.

A closeup of engraving on the Woodward Challenge Cup, 1903
Engraved "For Best Silver Tabby under NCS Rules"

Photo used with permission.

"Won by Onyx of Gladdisfern" is engraved on the back side of the trophy. His registration in Volume 3 of the Studbook and Registry of The Beresford Cat Club is for a silver tabby longhair, male, born April 1, 1901. He was bred by Miss Grant in England, and imported to the USA by Mrs. Alma Wright of Phelps, New York. When listed in the US Register & Studbook for Cats, published in 1906, Mrs. Lindsay A. Woodward had been added as a co-owner. It therefore would lead to the conclusion that the "Woodward Challenge Cup" was a prize offered by the co-owner of the 1903 winner.

Onyx of Gladdisfenn, silver tabby Longhair male, with some of his prize ribbons.
Photo from US Studbook & Register for Cats, 1906

Onxy of Gladdisfern has a very interesting pedigree, tracing back to one of the important silvers in English cat fancy history, namely Silver Lambkin. Silver Lambkin's sire, Windsor Beetle, was bred by Lady Marcus Beresford, after whom the Beresford Cat Club was named.

		Silver Lambkin
	CH Lord Southampton
	|	Southampson Duchess
    Windsor Beetle
    |  	|	Unknown
    |   Squaw
    |  		Unknown
Onyx of Gladdisfenn, Apr-01-1903, Silver Tabby, M
    |  		CH Lord Southampton		
    |  Lord Argent
    |   |	Silvia
        |	Silver Lambkin

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