London 1948 Olympic torch to beat $4,710 estimate?

As the Olympic flame wends its way through the towns and villages of the UK, a torch from the London 1948 Olympics is coming to auction on May 31.

Inscribed "Olympia London With Thanks To The Bearer", the torch was employed on the relay the last time the Olympics came to the UK.

1948 London Olympic torch
London last hosted the Olympics in 1948

It has a £3,000 valuation, a price we are confident it will surpass; another London 1948 torch made £6,463 at Christie's in 2000.

The torch's bowl is decorated with 16 skeleton see-through Olympic rings and comes with a copy of the photograph of the bearer Ronald Henry Bryan holding the item.

It is accompanied by a letter from the Olympic committee seeking his participation in the torch relay.

Bryan was a national standard runner who was a contemporary of famous athletes such as Roger Bannister and Chris Chatham.

One of just 22 torches from the 1952 Helsinki Games achieved €290,000 (£239,000) at Christie's in April 2011.

The auction follows the news that an Olympic torch from the London 2012 relay, which was thought to have raised £153,000 for charity on Ebay, was the subject of a hoax bid.

It is now expected to be put up for sale by an auction house. Several of the torches from the relay have been put up for auction, amid complaints from some quarters.

A silver medal for the Tug of War from the 1908 London Olympics will also be auctioned at the sale, with a £2,000 valuation.

The marathon winner's cup from the first modern Olympic Games in 1896 made £541,250 in April, becoming the most valuable piece of Olympic memorabilia ever sold at auction in the process.

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