Scarce winner’s medal issued for the 1875 Zappas Olympics. Silver (B Class), 37 mm, 22 gm, by Albert Désiré Barre; manufactured by the Paris Mint. The front depicts a relief bust of King George of Greece encircled with Greek text: “George the First, King of the Hellenes”; the reverse features a laurel wreath with legend: “Olympia, at Athens, 1875, Class B,” with surrounding inscription: “Organizer of the Games Evangelis Zappas.”
Sponsored by Evangelis Zappas (1800-1865), a Greek patriot, businessman, and philanthropist, the Zappas Olympics was a series of athletic events held in Athens designed to reintroduce a modern version of the ancient games into the nation of Greece. The first was held in 1859, while the other three—1870, 1875, and 1888—were held posthumously in Zappas’ honor. Although not an international event, the Zappas Olympics were significant to the Games of today, as the modern arrangement of gold, silver, and bronze medals serving as awards for first, second, and third prizes was established according to the original plan of the Zappas Olympics. An exceptionally scarce winner’s medal, with only 205 Class B silvers minted for distribution.
Terms and abbreviations used in our descriptions.