With the exception of the kitsch factor, I don’t believe bowling trophies to be that collectible, but they are fun in a campy sort of way and make a great display for a gym or a game room. They come in all different sizes and styles, from tiny to huge, from wall plaques to clocks.
Most of these types of trophies can be picked up pretty reasonably, however, some early ones made out of bakelite plastic can get up there in price. I have found some good ones in antique shops and at yard sales, but keep and eye on eBay and you will find all you could ever want.
In general, trophies from ’40s, ’50s and early-’60s have much more character and substance then most from the ’70s and on. While looking for trophies, keep an eye out for old bowling team photos which tie in nicely to your display.
Of course, this post isn’t an authoritative resource for serious collectors. It is more of an introduction or suggestion to collecting and displaying items you may have never considered.
I have all kinds of little collections around our Retro Planet offices—bowling trophies, world globes, restaurant cups & saucers, Hall tea pots, soda fountain glasses and paper cups… I’m not even sure how or why I started collecting some of these things. I was in an antique store one day and the guy had about a dozen bowling trophies. They where ’50s vintage, kitschy, in great shape and priced right so I bought most of them.
If you happen to be a collector of any of the items I write about and would like to contribute please respond to the blog with your tips and advice. Until then, I hope you enjoy these pictures of my collection… and if you are also seeking out such trophies, happy hunting!