In 1981, Philippe Chatrier, then President of the French Tennis Federation, launched a tender to Parisian jewellers to give a new look to the Coupe des Mousquetaires awarded for the Men’s Singles tournament at Roland Garros. It had to symbolize the victories of four great tennis players: Jacques Brugnon, Jean Borotra, Henri Cochet and Bernard Lacoste.
MELLERIO dits MELLER, won this tender thanks to the elegance and refinement of its project: a wide necked cup, edged with a border of vine leaves and decorated with two swan-shaped handles.
Once a year, on the day of the final, the original cup leaves the office of the President of the Federation for just few hours: the winner takes only a replica home with him.
Every year silversmiths devote over a hundred hours’ work to making this replica, which is slightly smaller than the original, transforming a simple sheet of solid silver into a work of art.
The metal tamers take a month in the workshop to perform this task.
The metal turner, chiseller silversmith begins: he cuts out and shapes the sheet of silver until the perfect shape of the design is achieved, working the shape of the cup on a mandrel made of tropical wood.
The Caster then makes the swan-shaped handles and the edging decorated with vine leaves, pouring molten metal into the moulds.
The Embosser then deals with the details, using a tiny burin, he concentrates on the patterns in detail, thus completing each piece.
After checking each of the elements that make up the Cup, the silversmith assembles and welds them.
The Polisher works only at the last minute, to give the cup its shining polished appearance.
Finally, the Engraver immortalizes the tournament by engraving the winner’s name on the base.
These long and meticulous hours of work, involving several craftsmen, create a prize worthy of the efforts and dreams of the players: a cup weighing around fourteen kilos, twenty-one centimetres high and nineteen centimetres wide.