During the winter of 2022, Hamilton & Inches was honoured to craft the Cuttitta Cup, a trophy celebrating the huge contribution of Massimo Cuttitta to the global game of Rugby.
The cup was contested for the first time in March of that year, where it was played for at the Stadio Olimpico in Rome, in the fourth round of the GUINNESS Six Nations Championship. Now a permanent trophy to celebrate this fixture, the story behind the Cuttitta Cup and the man behind the trophy has secured it’s place as one of the most special commissions in our 157-year history.
Crafted in memory of the former Italian Captain and highly revered and loved Scotland scrum coach, Massimo Cuttitta tragically passed away from Covid at the young age of 54. An incredibly talented player and coach alike, Massimo won 70 caps for Italy between 1990-2000, captaining his country on 22 occasions.
Rugby was more than just a game to Massimo, indeed it meant ‘family’. During his international career he was joined by his twin brother Marcello, an international winger who helped Massimo bring Italian Rugby into international significance during that period. Once his own playing career came to an end, Massimo came across to Scotland, first to coach Edinburgh Rugby and Glasgow warriors, before becoming the scrum coach for Scotland between 2009-2015. He rapidly became respected and loved, establishing himself in the hearts of the Scottish teams, a country which Massimo had great affection for.
Regardless of which team you speak to, or which country you are in, the intense fondness and respect for Massimo is undeniable, which made this commission not only a wonderful challenge, but an honour.
The brief presented to us by Scottish Rugby, who commissioned the cup, was simple; to create a trophy which encompassed the spirit of Massimo, a cup which reflected his achievements and contributions to the game, but which also expressed his big heart.
After brainstorming different ideas and styles, we proposed the most complicated trophy design we have ever designed. Taking inspiration from the shape of the Doddie Weir Cup, made in our workshops during 2018, we looked to the scrum and it’s intense physicality to guide the rest of the shape of the cup. The handles, beautifully crafted by 4 pairs of hands in our workshop, make this trophy truly unique. The loosehead prop forms one handle of the trophy, the tighthead the other, presenting a trophy which is undeniably ‘Massimo’.
Both players seem to swirl out of the body of the cup before creating the scrum, imagery which the team deliberately used to reference a genie, floating up from a lantern, a nod to his playing prowess and scale. The rest of the cup is similarly made up of nods to the game, with a rugby ball, painstakingly engraved with the logos of Scottish Rugby and the Italian Rugby Federation connecting the base and body of the cup, which rests on a kicking tee.
All of our workshops played a role in the making of this cup, from the design process through to the making, passing through as many skilled hands as in the game itself. We are proud to say that these commissions form part of our history, rare moments where our work helps immortalise a legacy. The roar of the crowd, the passion in the game, the physicality of the scrum, all of these attributes are so Massimo, or Mouse, as he was fondly called, a larger than life character which we hope our trophy captures.
Massimo, da parte di tutti noi, grazie.
Photographs courtesy of Scottish Rugby.