Lot #6020
Antwerp 1920 Olympics Gold Winner's Medal

The return of the Summer Games—the first place winner's medal from 1920 Antwerp
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Estimate: $10000+

Description

The return of the Summer Games—the first place winner's medal from 1920 Antwerp

Winner's medal issued for the Antwerp 1920 Olympics. Gilt silver, 60 mm, 86 gm, by Josue Dupon. The front shows a victorious athlete holding a laurel wreath and palm branch, with a statue of Renommee in the background, inscribed "VII Olympiade"; the reverse depicts the Brabo fountain above the Antwerp shield, with the Cathedral of Our Lady and city looming in the background, inscribed above, "Anvers MCMXX." Bottom edge is stamped “A” for Argent.

Hosting the Olympics in 1920 was an incredibly difficult endeavor so close to the end of the war. Because of financing problems for the Games, many shortcuts had to be taken; one of them was reducing the amount of gold plating on the first-place winner’s medals. Unfortunately, most of the gilding wore off almost immediately and, as is often the case, many of the medals appear almost silver. Faint traces of gilding can still be discerned in the medal’s low relief areas.

A total of 29 nations attended the VII Olympiad in Antwerp, Belgium, with Hungary, Germany, Austria, Bulgaria, and the Ottoman Empire all banned from competing due to their involvement in World War I and the cancelation of the 1916 Games. In spite of such political unrest, the return of the Games debuted a trinity of enduring Olympic traditions—the voicing of the Olympic Oath, the symbolic release of doves, and the initial flying of the Olympic flag. An exceptional first place medal of the utmost historical interest and rarity.

Auction Info

  • Auction Title: Olympic Memorabilia
  • Dates: #613 - Ended July 22, 2021