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  • 1896 Athens Olympic medal valued at $100,000+
  • Post author
    Paul Fraser
  • 1896AthensmedalOlympic

1896 Athens Olympic medal valued at $100,000+

An 1896 Athens Olympics first place silver medal looks set to beat $100,000 in a November 17-19 sports memorabilia sale.

It's part of the Harmer Johnson collection of Olympic memorabilia at Heritage Auctions.

1896 Olympic medal
The 1896 Olympic Games was the first of the modern era

Nicholas Dawes, vice president of special collections for the auction house, said: "Harmer Johnson is an internationally known collector and Olympic medallic art expert who attended every Summer Olympics from 1960 until this year, as well as many of the Winter Games."

The 1896 Games was the first modern Olympics.

Things were very different back then as Dawes explained: "Gold was not always the top prize in the Olympics.

"In the very first games, silver went to the victorious athletes.

"Only 100 of these medals were ever struck, and this one is particularly well-preserved.

"It features a Jules-Clement Champlain design with a laurel-wreathed head of Zeus and winged Victory on obverse and a view of Acropolis and Parthenon between Olympic legend on back."

Another of these medals sold for £180,000 ($219,995) at Graham Budd Auctions in 2014.

Going even further back, a Roman Olympic discus from the first century AD is valued in excess of $8,000.

Its small size suggests that it may have been used in training.

Pierre Courbetin's 1894 proposal for the modern Olympic Games is selling at Goldin Auctions on October 29.

View our great range of sports memorabilia for sale.

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  • Post author
    Paul Fraser
  • 1896AthensmedalOlympic