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ADDENDUM:The only other known example of this ring is in the Hockey Hall of Fame and belonged to Billy BarlowThe first Stanley Cup ring! A Challenge Cup, donated by Baron Stanley of Preston, was first presented in 1893 to the Montreal Amateur Athletic Association (AAA), champions of the five-team Amateur Hockey Association (founded 1887). The club, having won the Senior Amateur Trophy for the previous five years running, was awarded Stanley’s silver grail by default and would go on to win it again the next season. This immensely important gold band, presented to a member of the Association is inscribed inside “Champions 1888-93” recognizing the team’s five straight Senior Championships and first Stanley Cup win. The simplistic ring is engraved and enameled with crossed hockey sticks and “MHC” (Montreal Hockey Club) and is identical to another example resting in the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto. Crafted by a local Montreal jeweler (doing business in 1893) as evidenced by the maker’s hallmark stamped inside with their 15K marking. In addition, the name “G.P. Low” is inscribed. This undoubtedly refers to the player on the victorious AAA hockey squad in 1893 listed in photographs as “J. Lowe”. Obviously an “English” player, it was common for the French to spell names beginning with “J” with a “G” and to drop the “e” in a name like “Lowe” (or vice versa). Also, it is unlikely that anyone other than a player would have received a championship ring. This historic treasure was unearthed along with other jewel pieces and watches in the attic of an older home in Vancouver, British Columbia and will come with an LOA from the gentleman who discovered it. Without a doubt, the earliest and most significant piece of Stanley Cup history ever offered.
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