The Ashes urn: how tall is tiny prize, how much does it weigh, what is it made from and how much is it worth?

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The Urn is one of cricket’s most famous artefacts and is the famous symbol of the Ashes series, which returns this month.

The Ashes is just over a week away with cricket fans eager to see a new-look England side challenge Australia after years of Aussie dominance.

Brendon McCullum has ushered in a new full-blooded and aggressive form of cricket into the England set-up alongside captain Ben Stokes.

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Australia have held the Ashes ever since winning in 2017 thanks to a draw in 2019 and a convincing victory in 2021.

Should Australia win the 2023 series in England, then the nation will hold the Ashes for a fourth series in a row - a run which has not happened since the Aussie's eight on the trot between 1989 and 2002.

The famous urn is the symbol of Ashes victory and the little trophy has become one of the most iconic pieces in world cricket.

This is how it came to be so famous, exactly how big it is and just how much it may be worth.

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The Urn was first presented in 1883 (Image: Getty Images)The Urn was first presented in 1883 (Image: Getty Images)
The Urn was first presented in 1883 (Image: Getty Images) | Getty Images

When was the Urn first created and how did it become associated with the Ashes?

The Urn first came into being when presented to England cricket captain Ivo Bligh during the 1882-83 tour in Australia.

Bligh received the urn after a friendly match at Rupertswood mansion in Sunbury. It came about after the captain promised to bring back 'the ashes of England cricket' before departure, following a mock obituary written about the state of England cricket after a loss earlier that year.

The Urn includes a verse from the Melbourne Punch of February 1, 1983 which eulogises over the England cricket performance in that series.

How big is the Urn and how much does it weigh?

The Urn is famous for its petite appearance and stands at just 15 centimetres or six inches tall. That's around a sixth of the height of an average cricket bat and just a little larger than one 4.37 inch bail.

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The weight of the famous urn is actually unknown, but it is made of terracotta, a type of fired clay.

What is inside the trophy is also a bit of a mystery with various tales being told over the years.

It was believed the Urn contained the ashes of a wicket bail from the first match Bligh was presented with the trophy, but others suggest the ashes of a cricket ball are inside.

In 1998, Lord Darnley's daughter-in-law theorised that the ashes inside the urn were the remains of her mother-in-law's veil, rather than a bail.

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How much is the famous Urn worth?

The urn will go home with either England or Australia (Image: Getty Images)The urn will go home with either England or Australia (Image: Getty Images)
The urn will go home with either England or Australia (Image: Getty Images) | Getty Images

The Ashes Urn is invaluable and currently resides at the MCC Museum at Lord's under lock and key. It's impossible to price up such an important piece of cricketing history.

In 1909, Australian captain Monty Noble was presented with a version of the Urn that became one of only three known examples of the trophy. That version was auctioned in 2017 and was sold for $80,600 in Australia, so you'd imagine the original would be valued at much more than that figure.

If you want your own urn, the Lord's official shop sells replica versions for £60.

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