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Sunday, July 25, 2021

Behind the scenes: Making of ICC Test Championship Mace presented to New Zealand

Here is a behind-the-scenes peek into what goes into the making of the coveted ICC World Test Championship Mace.

Written by Rahul Sadhu |
Updated: June 24, 2021 1:42:37 pm
WTC Final mace, ICC test mace, ICC test mace making, icc test mace 2021ICC Test Championship mace has been crafted to perfection. (Source: thomaslyte)

New Zealand are the winners of the ICC World Test Championship (WTC) Final and will take home the ICC Test Championship Mace along with a cool purse of $1.6 million.

The original Mace was designed in 2000 by world-renowned Thomas Lyte trophy designer, Trevor Brown. The new bespoke trophy of 2021 has been completely handcrafted in Thomas Lyte’s London-based silver workshop.

Before the introduction of the WTC Final, the Test Mace was handed over to the team that topped the Men’s ICC Test Team ranking. With the Black Caps emerging victorious, it will now be in their possession.

Design & Craft

The Mace is made from sterling silver and gold plates. The base is made from hardwood. The long handle of the Mace looks similar to that of a stump with a silver-gilt laurel band spiralling around it as a symbol of success. But what catches the eye is the top of the Mace which features a gold-plated cricket ball surrounded by a global map.

ICC Test Mace design. (Source: Thomas Lyte)

According to Kevin Baker, CEO, and founder of the luxury English trophy manufacturer Thomas Lyte, it signifies the international reach of cricket and the World Test Championship.

But what was the inspiration behind the Test Championship Mace?

“One of the moments that inspired the design was seeing a cricketer grab a stump as a souvenir after a particularly close match. As the stump was waved aloft it occurred to me that a Mace could stand out against a typical cup design and be something different,” revealed Brown.

How is it different from a trophy?

While a trophy has a body with two handles for a lid, no matter how intricate they are, they are nowhere near to a Mace. “It’s not run in the mill,” says Lee Bull, master craft man.”If you look at it closely, the most complicated part is the cage at the top that surrounds the cricket ball with the map applied to it. That was done by silversmith Chloe Robertson,” he explains.

The countries of the world are supported on the longitude lines you see on a globe which produce a multitude of reflections against the golden cricket ball.

ICC Test Mace design. (Source: Thomas Lyte)

Hot forging was used to bend these rods at over 700 degrees Celsius before they were soldered together to create the shape of a globe.

The world is surrounded by a central belt carrying the insignia of all 12 competing Test nations, with space to add others in the future.

Getting the alignments correct for the fitting of the engraving was also very crucial. “We use a special sort of cutter to get a nice contrast from the brightness of the cut so when it hits the light you get a bit of dance from the light.,” explained engraver John Bate.

ICC Test Mace in the making. (Source: Thomas Lyte)

Proud at work?

“I have made a lot of trophies around the world but when you see the final piece, you do get a sense of pride. I have always enjoyed this job and I love creating things. The Mace looks so impressive,” said Bull.

From left to right: John Bate – Engraver, Alex Marley – Polisher, Chloe Robertson – Silversmith, Lee Bull – Master Silversmith, Kevin Hart – Master Silversmith and Workshop Manager, Ayesha Litt – Operations Manager, Tom Hill – Distributions Manager, Paul Adaway – Master Polisher. (Source: Thomas Lyte)

“We are honoured to have crafted many of the world’s most iconic sporting trophies, and the illustrious World Test Championship Mace is unlike any other we have made and this makes it all the more special,” said Baker before adding, “We are a Royal Warrant Holder as goldsmiths and silversmiths to Her Majesty the Queen, so we often work with ceremonial objects, but to combine this tradition with that of a sporting trophy has been a fantastic challenge for our designers and makers”.

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