Russian silver cycling trophy, €39,000 (£33,300) at Antiqon.

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Mikhailovich (1869-1918), a passionate aristocratic supporter of the new sport of cycle racing in late 19th century Russia, was a founder member of the first cyclist society in Russia formed in 1883 in Tsarskoe Selo.

Cycling had its practicalities for the Grand Duke: the halls and corridors of the Michaelovsky Palace in St Petersburg were so vast that Sergei used a bicycle to visit his brothers who lived in other wings.

The winner of this trophy was a once internationally famous Russian athlete Mikhail Diakov (1872-1959), a member of the Tsarskoe Selo club who held the national cycling record over 7.5 versts (the Russian unit of distance equal to 1.067km) – the blue ribband race at the time.


The engraved plaque to the Russian silver cycling trophy sold at Antiqon.

Some months after he received this trophy, on March 6, 1896, Dyakov travelled to London to compete in the English Open Championship where he won a sensational victory.

The trophy, which measures 18in (40cm) high and comes in its original wooden carrying case, is a detailed study of a late 19th century elite cyclist and his machine plus a fine example of pre-revolutionary St Petersburg silver, marked for the fashionable maker Alexander Lyubavin.

Estimated at €15,000-20,000, it hammered for €39,000 (£33,300).