The 1964 Melbourne Cup won by Polo Prince, 9ct gold, James Steeth & Son for William Drummond & Co. Ltd., (3), modelled as a three handled loving cup supported on a tapering stem terminating in a stepped circular foot, inscribed 'Melbourne Cup / 1964 / Won By / Mr & Mrs L. Davis' / Polo Prince / Trainer J.P. Carter / Rider R.W. Taylor / Time 3 Mins. 19.6 Sec' inscribed to base 'Manufactured by Wm Drummond & Co Ltd' 9ct', together with the original turned blackwood base and a black and white photo of Polo Prince after the race with Mr John Carter, Mr Ron Taylor and Mr Sydney McGreal, framed and glazed, (3), 840 gms, 29.9 cm high, 37 cm high (with base), the photograph 19.5 cm by 30 cm. Provenance. Decorative Arts, Christie's, Melbourne 16th November 1999, lot 712, illustrated. Private Collection Queensland, acquired from the above. A crowd of 85,000 braved bleak weather conditions to watch Polo Prince win the 1964 Melbourne Cup, onlookers included Dawn Fraser, who had won gold at the 1964 Olympics in Tokyo. Polo Prince entered the race at odds of 12/1, though in the lead up to Cup eve, punters backed him at over 20/1. It was an outstanding victory, as the gelding won by a length-and-a-quarter and was within a tenth-of-a-second of breaking the race record. Polo Prince became the eighth New Zealand horse in the previous thirteen years to win the Melbourne Cup. Originally destined to be a hurdler due to his temperament, Polo Prince's trainer, John Carter, saw potential for flat races. Carter, encouraged by the six-year-old's performance during the two mile Auckland Cup in January 1964 decided to prepare Polo Prince for the Melbourne Cup of the same year. Polo Prince's co-owner, Laurie Davis was known as 'Lucky' due to an extremely successful Tab bet, a lottery win, and his overall good fortune on the racecourse. He bred Polo Prince on a small property outside of Auckland that he had acquired with winnings from his Tab wager. Laurie's wife, Edna Davis, who received the Cup from the Governor General, William Philip Sidney, 1st Viscount De L'Isle, was reputed to be the fourth female owner to win the Melbourne Cup.
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- Blackwood - One of the best known and most widely used Australian timbers, blackwood (acacia melanoxylon), is a member of the Acacia (wattle) family and grows in eastern Australia from about Adelaide in South Australia, as far north as Cairns in Queensland.
The largest, straightest and tallest trees come from the wet forest and swamps of north-west Tasmania where it is grown commercially.
Blackwood timber colours range across a wide spectrum, from a very pale honey colour through to a dark chocolate with streaks of red tinge.
The hardwood timber has been commonly used in the production of furniture, flooring, and musical instruments in Australia from the late 19th century. However, the straight grain timber is not the most prized or valuable, that honour falls to blackwood with a wavy, fiddleback pattern, which is used both in the solid and as a veneer. Fiddleback was only used on the finest examples of furniture.
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