Provincetown News and Information

1907 yacht race trophy Lipton Cup discovered in Provincetown

Published: Tue March 14, 2006
By: Straight Dope in Provincetown > Town History
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By Steve Desroches

Like some sort of mythical artifact, the famed Lipton Cup sat deep in a vault in town hall, unseen for so many years that some in Provincetown wondered if it was lost forever. But yes Provincetown, there is a Lipton Cup.

Taken out of a safe in the town clerk’s office and sent to Boston to be appraised and polished, the prize and pride of the town is on permanent display at the Provincetown Public Library.

“The goal was always to have something this wonderful on display for the public,” said library director Debra DeJonker-Berry.

The Provincetown-based fishing schooner Rose Dorothea won the Fisherman’s Cup regatta and the almost 2-foot-high Edwardian silver trophy in 1907. Held in Boston, the racing ships traveled a 39-mile route from Thieves Island off Boston to Davis Ledge near Minot Light to Gloucester and then back to Boston. Captained by Marion Perry, the Rose Dorothea won the race, a $650 prize and a revered spot in Provincetown’s history.

It wasn’t until the defunct and dilapidated former Heritage Museum was converted into the new public library that there was an appropriate and safe place to showcase the community treasure. Now, when library patrons enter the building it is the centerpiece of the entrance, framed by a mural depicting Provincetown at night painted by local artist John Dowd.

“I’ve seen it in the past and it has never looked like this,” said DeJonker-Berry, who was amazed at the success of the cup’s restoration. “It’s just beautiful.”

The Lipton Cup will be on display for modern-day captains and schooner enthusiasts to admire. A formal dedication ceremony is planned for June 14, not only Flag Day, but the anniversary of when Provincetown was incorporated.

Fast facts

* Made of Edwardian silver and silver guilt by Goldsmiths and Silversmiths Company in London.

* Stand 21 5/8 inches high, with a wooden tiered circular base.

* Design includes “fanciful fish supports” and seashells topped by an eagle on a globe. Its handles are winged seahorses.

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