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  • Stockholm Torch Fetches Record Price


    05/01/14

    Equestrian events were held in Stockholm in 1956 due to import restrictions. (Getty Images)
    A 1956 Stockholm torch fetched the second-highest price for an Olympic torch at auction.

    The rare collectible sold for $473,800 ($412,500 plus 15 percent buyer’s premium) in a recent mail bid auction conducted by Ingrid O’Neil.
      
    The record is held by a 1952 Helsinki torch, which sold in a Paris auction in 2011 for $480,000 (290,000 Euro, plus fees).

    A Jesse Owens gold medal is still the all-time leader for an Olympic collectible. It fetched $1,466,574 in an auction late last year.
      
    O’Neil, who is based in California, tells Around the Rings that three bidders vied for the Stockholm torch, which had an estimate of $175,000.

    “It’s the rarity,” O’Neil says. She says fewer than 10 are known and two are in the Olympic museum in Stockholm. There are 22 original Helsinki torches.

    Lyudmila Kondratyeva stands on the podium in Moscow. (Getty Images)
    A gold medal and diploma won by pairs figure skater Ernst Baier at the 1936 Garmisch-Partenkirchen Winter Olympics went for $80,500, including commission. Two bidders took the lot well above its estimate of $55,000.

    A 10-year-old copy of the Breal Cup awarded to 1896 marathon winner Spiridon Louis sold for $31,625. It was one of seven made, including one given to Pope John Paul II.

    A silver medal from the 1948 St. Moritz Olympics went for $18,975 while a gold medal in bobsled from the 1976 Innsbruck Games fetched $17,825.

    The 2000 Sydney gold medal purportedly won by Alvin Harrison of the United States in the 4 x 400-meter relay sold for $16,445. The United States was subsequently disqualified from the event after a team member admitted to using performance-enhancing drugs. An IOC spokeswoman tells ATR that Harrison returned his medal to the IOC.

    A 1980 Moscow gold won by Lyudmila Kondratyeva of the Soviet Union in the 100-meter dash went for $14,375 while a gold medal for baseball from the 2004 Athens Olympics ended up at $12,017. Even an unawarded 1984 Los Angeles gold medal finished at $10,924. A 1972 Munich gold won by Vadim Guyayev of the Soviet Union in water polo was a relative bargain at $9,775.

    Written by Karen Rosen

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