1936 Berlin Olympics torch holders to sell for $5,500 in London
Torch holders from the controversial 1936 Berlin Olympics will sell at Bonhams' July 25 sale
Paul Fraser Collectibles, Sunday 15 July 2012
A selection of torch holders from the controversial 1936 Berlin Olympic Games will sell as part of Bonhams' dedicated sale on July 25 - two days before London 2012 officially begins.
The bid to host the games was won by Berlin in 1931, two years before Hitler's Nazi party came into power. Soon hijacked by the government as a medium to promote Hitler's ideals of racial supremacy, the Games were met with unease from other nations, who threatened to boycott Berlin 1936 in protest.
The Games went ahead nonetheless, despite Hitler's attempts to prevent black and Jewish athletes from competing. It was a move that was destined to backfire on the fuhrer, with Jessie Owens - a black sprinter from the US - securing four gold medals for his efforts.
It was at these games that the concept of the now traditional torch relay was first introduced at the behest of Dr Joseph Goebbels. Each of the candidates chosen to relay the torch was given a stainless steel torch holder, which was inscribed with the route map from Olympia to Berlin, and a certificate to show their participation.
Bonhams will be offering four of these original holders, each estimated at £2,500-3,500. This appears to be a reasonable estimate, given the £3,000 achieved by a 1948 London Olympic torch back in May, though the controversy surrounding the 1936 Games may see values boosted.
Also featuring in the sale will be the gold medals of Australian rower Bobby Pearce, which he won in both the 1928 and 1932 games. Learn more here.
Collectors currently have the chance to purchase official London 2012 torches and memorabilia, with an auction created by the organisers already underway to boost funding for the struggling Games.
Paul Fraser Collectibles has a great range of sports memorabilia currently in stock, including this brilliant autographed vintage photo of boxing champ James J Jeffries.
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