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Lot # 1716 (1716 of 1911)   « Previous Lot | Next Lot »

Extremely Rare 1908 Olympics Gold Medal - Team Gymnastics - Solid Gold!

Starting Bid - $2,500, Sold For - $16,800

Gold medal, issued to a member of the Swedish Gymnastics Team, for its victory at the 1908 Olympic Games held in London, England. While all Olympic gold medals are significant, the offered medal is particularly noteworthy because it is made of solid gold. Solid gold Olympic medals were only issued for a few of the early modern Olympiads (starting in 1896). Afterwards, beginning in 1920, all Olympic "gold" medals have been made of silver and are simply plated in gold. This is also one of only two 1908 Olympic Gold medals we have ever seen offered at auction, and the first Olympic gold medal we have ever offered. Sweden defeated Norway by a score of 438-425 in the men's team gymnastics to capture the gold medal in 1908. A total of thirty-eight gymnasts made up the Swedish team, each of whom received one of these exquisite medals, which were produced by P. Vaughton & Sons of Birmingham, England.

The relief design on the obverse features two female figures placing a laurel crown on the head of a victorious male athlete. The lettering along the base reads "Olympic Games London 1908." The relief design on the reverse portrays the legend of St. George, patron saint of England, who vanquished a dragon to free a princess. The engravings along the perimeter of the medal read "V&S 15-625 Vaughton" and Winner Gymnastic Teams." The medal is complete with its original, hinged presentation box. The gilt-stamped lettering on the box lid reads "Olympic Games/Winner/Gymnastic Teams/London, 1908." The interior features a red-velvet holder for the medal and a white satin-lined lid that is lettered "P. Vaughton & Sons/Goldsmiths & Medalists/Birmingham." The medal (1.25 inches in diameter) remains in Near Mint condition. The box (3 x 3 x .5 inches) displays moderate wear and is in Very Good condition overall. This is an exceedingly rare Olympic gold medal and one of the few surviving examples crafted in solid gold. As such, it represents one of the most significant souvenirs imaginable dating from the dawn of the modern Olympic Games. Weight: 25 grams. Reserve $2,500. Estimate (open). SOLD FOR $16,800

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