Olympic Memorabilia - The World's 10 Most Expensive Items With the London 2012 Olympics in full swing, Wikicollecting.org has compiled a list of the ten most expensive pieces of Olympic memorabilia ever sold at auction.
News-Antique.com - Aug 07,2012 - 10) London 1908 trio of medals - £17,000 ($26,360)
A trio of bronze, silver and gold medals from the London 1908 Olympics, all awarded to competitors from Great Britain in various disciplines, sold for £17,000 at Graham Budd Auctions Olympic Memorabilia sale on July 24th 2012.
9) Usain Bolt’s running shoes - £25,000 ($39,000)
A pair of running spikes worn and signed by four-time Olympic gold medallist, Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt, sold for £25,000 at a charity auction in July 2012.
8) The Harold Abrahams Collection - £39,650 ($63,083)
Extensive archive of Harold Abrahams, 1924 100m British Olympic gold medallist, including cups, medals, watches, plaques, documents, photographs etc. After a pre-sale estimate of just £3,000-£5,000, the collection sold for £39,650 at Christie’s in April 2012.
7) Bobby Pearce archive - £49,250 ($76,260)
Archive connected to the Australian-Canadian champion from 1928 Amsterdam and 1932 Los Angeles Olympics, including medals, awards, diplomas, certificates, watches, photographs etc. Sold for £49,250 at Bonhams on July 25th 2012.
6) Canadian Hockey jerseys - $94,000
The NHL Players’ Association sold 23 Canada Olympic Hockey jerseys through online auction site eBay in 2010, in order to raise funds to rebuild a children’s hospital in Haiti. The auction raised $94,000.
5) 1952 Helsinki Olympic torch - €119,000 ($148,000)
A torch from the 1952 Helsinki Olympic Games, one of only 22 produced and among the most sought-after items of Olympic memorabilia, sold for €119,000 in November 2006 at a Greek auction.
4) Mark Wells’ 1980 Olympic Gold Medal - $310,700
The gold medal won by Mark Wells, a member of the 1980 "miracle on ice" men's hockey team, was sold by Heritage Auction Galleries in November 2010 for $310,700. Originally estimated to sell for $100,000, the medal was the first time any of the 1980 hockey gold medals were offered at a public auction.
3) 1952 Helsinki Olympic Torch - €290,000 ($360,000)
Another of the 22 existing examples, a torch from the 1952 Helsinki Olympic Games sold for €290,000 by Vassy-Jalenques SARL of Paris in April 2011. These torches possess a sterling silver bowl and birch-wood handle, and are highly coveted by Olympic memorabilia collectors.
2) Chinese Olympic gold coin - $575,000
A Chinese 10kg gold 100,000 Yuan coin, made to commemorate the 2008 Beijing Olympics, was sold by Heritage Auction Galleries for $575,000 in January 2011. Only 29 examples of the coin were minted and this was the only one allocated to the US market.
1) Bréal’s Silver Cup - £541,250 ($861,129)
The most expensive item of Olympics memorabilia sold (to date) is a decorative silver cup awarded to Greek runner Spyros Louis as a prize for winning the marathon at the first modern Olympic Games, held in Athens in 1896. It sold for £541,250 at Christie’s in April 2012, bought by the Stavros Niarchos Foundation, to be displayed for the public in Athens from 2015.
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