Lot #3075
Tokyo 1964 Summer Olympics Torch

Iconic 'flare' torch from the 1964 Tokyo Games
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Estimate: $6000+

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Description

Iconic 'flare' torch from the 1964 Tokyo Games

Official 1964 Tokyo Olympics torch, consisting of a blackened aluminum alloy bowl and a stainless steel cylinder, measuring 25.5″ in length and 6.75″ at its widest point. Manufactured by Nippon Light Metal Co., the bowl is engraved "XVII Olympiad Tokyo 1964" with a set of Olympic rings, and underside of handle marked: “Nikkei Yanagi.” The lower portion of the cylinder bears the Tokyo Games logo and reads "Showa Kaseihin Co., Ltd., 3-1964," with upper section marked: "Olympic Torch." Some scattered nicks and dings to the bowl and cylinder, wear to the top platform of the bowl, and adhesive remnants visible below cylinder's red band.

The Olympic flame was carried for 51 days by 870 runners for a total of 26,065 kilometers. Designed on the principle of the coal-mine safety lamp, the Tokyo Olympic torch was filled with priming powder and fumigant, a two-component ignition material that needed to be wind and rain resistant, and which could both easily ignite and extinguish. Its effect was similar to that of a flare, and it proved a safe and reliable instrument over the course of its hemisphere-trotting relay. Although a typhoon and various plane issues caused a one-day delay late in the schedule, the triumphant final relay by Yoshinori Sakai through Tokyo's National Olympic Stadium on October 10, 1964, served as a defining moment for a still healing post-war Japan. This torch bowl beautifully represents the moment the fifth ring of the Olympiad touched down on Asian soil. The Summer Olympics will again be in Tokyo in 2020, making it the first Asian city to host two Summer Games.

Auction Info

  • Auction Title: Olympic Memorabilia
  • Dates: July 17 - July 23