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This lot is closed for bidding. Bidding ended on 4/14/2024

One of the rarest and most desirable of all Olympic items is a 1932 Lake Placid Winter Games winner’s medal. Few have ever surfaced, let alone been put up for auction. This is the first one we have seen in person, and it’s an absolute beauty. Minted by Robbins Co and designed by Julio Kilenyi, this third-place bronze medal (event and athlete unknown) measures 55 mm in diameter (3.5 mm thick) and weighs 64 grams with a unique scalloped edge unlike any winner’s medal struck thereafter. The obverse shows a winged Victory in the clouds holding a laurel branch overlooking the Adirondack Mountains with Winter Games venues in the foreground. The reverse has the Olympic rings over "III Olympic Winter Games Lake Placid 1932" in four lines with crossed laurel branches at the bottom.

It was OOC President Godfrey Dewey (son of Melvil Dewey, inventor of the Dewey Decimal System) who came up with the ambitious plan to host the 1932 Olympic Winter Olympics in little Lake Placid, NY. A grand total of 252 athletes from 17 countries took part in 14 events; hence, why so few winner’s medals are in circulation. First-place champions received a gold medal and a diploma and even got their names inscribed on a plaque in the Olympic arena. In addition, these were the first Games in which the IOC required the use of podiums for an official medal ceremony.

With literally no comps online to visually compare, the bronze medal appears to be in exquisite shape with minimal wear or little signs of aging. All high points of the relief display wonderfully in sharp contrast and fine detail. Unfortunately, there is no ownership trail to trace this white whale back to its original recipient. Our consignor is a well-respected Olympic connoisseur who has had the luxury of inspecting multiple 1932 Winter Games winner’s medals over the years and stands by its authenticity 100%.

For reference, participation medals from the 1932 Lake Placid Winter Games typically sell for $5,000 and up. The last documented sale of a 1932 Lake Placid bronze winner’s medal was over $30,000. Several years ago, renowned Olympic collector Gordy Crawford spent well into six figures for a ’32 Lake Placid gold medal (won by a Norwegian athlete); it, along with the rest of Crawford’s multimillion-dollar Olympic collection, was donated to the U.S. Olympic Museum in Colorado Springs in 2018.

1932 Lake Placid Winter Olympic Games 3rd Place Winners Bronze Medal
Current Bidding (Reserve Has Been Met)
Minimum Bid: $4,000
Final prices include buyers premium.: $20,060
Number Bids:3
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