At least as far back as the renaissance
, professional achievement and social vanity were celebrated by the stamping of attractive bronze discs (the practice endures to our own day
). By the nineteenth, we begin to see silver cups. (Okay, by the seventeenth century we get loving cups, but bear with me.)
First question- who first first engraved an otherwise fungible water holder
, handed it on to some over-achiever and said, "Here- you deserve this"?
Second and really my main question- on what occasion did the commemorative cup first give way to the useful-as-doorstopper statuette
? To say nothing of all those marble mahagony brass creations so often found in houses of the sports mad?
(Bonus points if you can name the first bits of metal stuck on a) aristo chests and b) footsoldier
chests) (Picture is of an aged Waterloo veteran & wife. I'm guessing it was Napoleon for the lowly ranked, but am eager to be surprised)
(I realize this is slightly flat footed and may resist hard and fast answers, but I'm always interested first setters of the unlikely trend. For example, who was the first real cool alpha highschool kid who managed to convince a generation of lemmings that dressing like Baby Huey was not only not stupid looking, but hip? Marketers (I am not one, I hasten to add)want to find this amazing person.)