Major Commissions

The Prince Philip Challenge Trophy

Commission case study; Contemporary trophy for Henley Royal Regatta, new race for Junior Women’s Eights Rowing

Rauni Higson | Image Stephen Heaton

“The most beautiful piece of silversmithing in the world, in my opinion.”

Karin Paynter, Precious metal industry expert

“I loved every single aspect of this commission; celebrating the raw power of these amazing young women, through the image of the turbulent water they leave in their wake”

Rauni Higson, Designer

“We thoroughly enjoyed working with Rauni to create this striking, contemporary trophy for our junior women’s event.  Rauni captured beautifully the movement of an eight gliding through the water and the finished piece looks absolutely stunning on display during our event.”

Sir Steve Redgrave CBE, Chairman of Henley Royal Regatta

.A unique design, of comparable stature to existing trophies
but with its own story and character., and able to stand the test of time alongside our current collection. Ideally incorporating a celebration of the demands and skills of rowing, and a recognition of achievement of athletes in this most gruelling of sports.
Substantial such that they can be displayed to all visitors throughout the Regatta and robust such that they survive trophy presentations, with consideration given to any separate elements that might be easily damaged. Winning athletes can be excitable and whilst separate sections are not a problem,
lids, for example should be able to be secured.
Provision should be made for the annual addition of the names of the winners: incorporating Club/School; year; names of nine people; It would be advisable to plan for the recording of winners for approximately 30 years in the first instance.

By focussing on expressing the power of the rowers, I quickly settled on the turbulence left behind as the boat slices through the water and disappears downriver. Eight symmetrical sets of whirlpools slowly decay as the wake widens. The image is a bird’s eye view, as from a bridge over the water, the sharp stern detail is gilded to contrast with the hammer chased ‘water’, with details of bubbles and polished highlights to evoke the sparkling water. 

The piece is constructed from several parts that are engineered to fit perfectly together, and connected by an invisible mechanism, in case the trophy ever needs repairing. It is now part of the history of the Regatta, and the team’s names are engraved on the back each year, in a radial pattern. 


Henley Royal Regatta is undoubtedly the best-known regatta in the world and a highlight of both the summer sporting calendar and social season.

The Regatta attracts thousands of visitors over the week, and spectators are thrilled by over 300 races of an international standard, which can include Olympic rowers, as well as crews new to the event.

If you would like to find out more about the commissioning process, Rauni would be delighted to have an informal no-obligation chat

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