King George the sixth and Queen Elizabeth Diamond Stakes Ascot Trophy 

Commissioned by De Beers as the most valuable prize on Diamond Day at Royal Ascot.

De Beers have pursued an initiative from the 1970s to commission modern design in contemporary gold and silver work. For the owner’s prize on Diamond Day at Ascot a different subject was chosen each year (rumoured to be something desired by the Oppenheimer household, who intended to win it.) When a modern equestrian sculpture was required, Elizabeth Frink was commissioned, when a box was required we were asked to submit designs.

Both partners at Smith and Harris trained in box work. One obvious failing of a large table box is that it needs to be turned from one side of the table to the other to gain access. In this De Beers commission Dennis Smith has designed a box that can be lifted, and left open, from each of its diamond studded corners.


To celebrate twenty five years of commissioning modern masterpieces De Beers contacted all previous winners to explore the possibility of mounting an exhibition. Our box had been won by Nashwan, whose owner, Hamdan Al Maktoum, the Emir of Kuwait, is one of the worlds most successful racehorse owners. Mr Maktoum has an entire room in one of his houses devoted to his trophies. Sadly, despite repeated searches, his household were unable to locate ours, and as some other owners were unwilling to participate the exhibition was abandoned. Many months later, we were contacted by De Beers with the good news that our box had been found, it was, as it had always been, on Mr Maktoum’s desk.