BOSTON – With the Olympic season finally upon us again, RR Auction is pleased to host another auction honoring the worldwide Games. The Olympic Memorabilia Sale features nearly 200 lots; online bidding is scheduled to begin July 15 and conclude July 22. The catalog chronicles Olympics past and present, with a wide selection of relay torches, winner’s medals, participation medals, and Olympic ephemera. View the fully illustrated catalog on LiveAuctioneers.
The sale opens with two extreme rarities—winner’s medals from the 1896 Olympic Games at Athens, the first modern Olympiad. Among them is an Athens 1896 Olympics silver ‘First Place’ winner’s medal and an Athens 1896 Olympics bronze winner’s medal.
At the inaugural modern Olympiad, first-place winners were awarded silver medals, and second-place finishers earned bronze; there was no award for a third-place result. Any winner’s medal from the historic debut of the 1896 Olympic Games remains exceedingly scarce. This example represents just the third that we have ever offered and the premiere instance of a first-place medal, which are among the most sought-after accolades in the realm of sport.
Other winner’s medals include a Los Angeles 1984 Summer Olympics gold winner’s medal, won by the 1984 U.S.A. men’s basketball team, which featured the likes of Michael Jordan, Chris Mullin, and Patrick Ewing; a Los Angeles 1932 Summer Olympics gold winner’s medal awarded to Swedish wrestler Ivar Johansson; and a Garmisch 1936 Winter Olympics silver winner’s medal, awarded to Bill ‘Rabbit’ Thomson as a member of the Canadian hockey team.
Top torches in the auction lineup include a Lillehammer 1994 Winter Olympics torch. Designed by Andre Steenbuch Marandon and Paal Christian Kahrs and manufactured by Paal J. Kahrs Arkitekter AS, Statoil, it is constructed of wood, iron, and copper. The torch is highlighted by its long birchwood handle that symbolizes Norway tradition. The upper section consists of a polished aluminum blade that conversely reflects the nation’s industrial modernity and technology.
Also featured is a Lake Placid 1980 Winter Olympics torch. Comprised of bronze-colored leather and metal, it was designed by Don McFarland and manufactured by Cleanweld Turner. The torch design and materials symbolize a blend of modern technology and a reference to Ancient Greece.
Equally notable is an Innsbruck 1976 Winter Olympics Torch, constructed of aluminum alloy and steel and designed by Vereinigte Metallwerke Ranshofen Berndorf. The upper shaft of the torch is hexagonal and features a pair of Olympic rings in openwork, with the curving metal strip extending from rings to platform representing a ski jump.
Perhaps the most exceptional torch on offer is an official 2020 Tokyo Olympics torch that was used in the run from Olympia to Sparta, Greece, in March 2020 before the relay was shut down. (The relay resumed in Japan in March 2021 and will be completed with the opening ceremony on July 23.)
Designed by Tokujin Yoshioka and inspired by Japanese cherry blossoms, the torch is finished in a ‘sakura’ rose-gold color. It has a fluted design featuring five petal-shaped columns around the tip, with the “Tokyo 2020” wreath emblem and Olympic rings on the front. It also comes with its original storage cylinder and tissue paper wrapping.
The Olympic Memorabilia auction from RR Auction will begin on July 15 and will conclude on July 22. For more information, go to www.rrauction.com.
View top auction results on LiveAuctioneers here: https://www.liveauctioneers.com/pages/recent-auction-sales/