Liam MacCarthy’s Cup has been created in early 1920s as a trophy for all Ireland Senior Hurling Championship. The design of the cup is based on a medieval drinking vessel called a mather.
It is made in Sterling Silver and its weight is about 5 kilograms (11 lbs). The original cup has retired in 1992 and is now a proud part of GAA Museum exhibition. The cup had been replaced by identical cup made in medieval city Kilkenny by James Mary Kelly in his studio JMK Gold & Silversmith’s.
I had a true pleasure to recreate this cup but in very miniature version. It was a private commission for a gentleman from Cork city whose name is McCarthy as well. It is made in Sterling silver from a scratch, the ornaments have been hand engraved and handles are cold fixed to it. I had to make small wooden mandrel to recreate exact shape of the original cup. It took some very accurate measurements and calculations to create the miniature to the scale and proportions of original cup.
Decorations on original cup were made by embossing technique, cup was big,so it was possible to create. But with mine version of the trophy it was impossible produce the pattern in this same way. I chose engraving technique to apply on silver cup intricate Celtic knot pattern. Miniatures are often more complicate to make than their big brothers hence I had to think about the way of attaching legs/handles to the body of cup without destroying the pattern. I made by hand tiny silver screws, drilled the cup which gave me a chance to construct sturdy way of fixing legs.
When miniature of Liam MacCarthy’s cup was ready I felt very proud and happy to be part of its legacy. It was a challenge but those are my favorite thing to make and create in my studio. Then never two days are alike and my brain always stay sharp and creative.
If you are seeking someone who can create original and beautifully commissioned piece for you please get in touch with me and I will do my best to help you. https://www.alexthieldesigns.com/contact-me/