In the 130 years of Wimbledon history, very few people know the reason behind giving the golden trophy to the men who win the Wimbledon and Plate to women winners. To find the reason, we need to turn the clock to 130 years past.
First of all, let us see why Men get trophy while women get Plate (called as Venus Rosewater Dish):
According to the sources, the first Wimbledon championships were held in 1877, but only men were allowed to take part and women later joined the championships in 1887.
Now, from the inception itself, Men were given the golden trophy, in the contrary women were granted the plate. There is a pretty retrograde reason, back then the role of women in much of the 19th century was primarily to oversee the domestic duties in the house. In a bid to honor the women at their best, they are presented so.
With domestic duties being the primary activity of most of the woman, the dish is often speculated to be a symbol of this, not the most equal of reasons and sometimes seen as a relic of sexism.
Coming to the details, the Venus Rosewater Dish first presented in 1886, while the men’s singles champions have always received a pions receive the gold cup with an inscription that reads:
“The All England Lawn Tennis Club Single Handed Championship of the World.”
Names of former champions are engraved into the bowl of the cup, which comes alongside a black plinth with a decorated silver band, however, names are engraved on the women’s one too.
Why is it named as ‘Venus Rosewater Dish’?
Firstly, it was made by Birmingham silversmiths Elkington and Co in 1864, well known for its unique looks, it is actually a replica of a plate by German metal worker Caspar Enderlein, which itself is a model of a 16th-century pewter made by French carver Francois Briot. In addition to its interesting appearance, it is the third incarnation of the significant prize.
On the dish, we can see the female figure with the representation of temperance as a virtual – seated in the middle of the plate, with a lamp in one hand and a jug in the other. She is surrounded by the four elements (earth, water, air, fire) while on the rim are the seven liberal arts: grammar, rhetoric, logic, geometry, arithmetic, music and astrology.
There are people who oppose this ideology of giving the plate to women, as they believe that this is a mundane idea to be followed in the 21st century, slammed the same calling it ‘Sexism’.