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This lot is closed for bidding. Bidding ended on 12/11/2022

Ivar Johansson grew up on a farm in rural Sweden where the hard physical labor gave him an imposing physique and great strength. As a young man Johansson became a police officer and pursued his love of Greco-Roman wrestling. Johansson competed in the 1928, 1932 and 1936 Olympics. He won two gold medals in the Greco-Roman welterweight and freestyle middleweight events at the 1932 Los Angeles Games, and then won a third gold in the Greco-Roman middleweight competition at the 1936 Berlin Games. His three gold medals tie him with Aleksandr Medved, Carl Westergren, and Aleksandr Karelin for the most in the history of Greco-Roman wrestling at the Olympics.

Presented here is Johansson’s 1st place gold winner's medal from the 1936 Berlin Olympics. Made of gilt silver with gold plating, it is designed by Giuseppe Cassioli and measures 55 mm in diameter and 3 mm thick, weighing 74 grams. The obverse features Nike, goddess of victory, seated before the Coliseum holding a winner's crown and palm branch with "XI. OLYMPIADE BERLIN 1936" scripted alongside. The reverse shows a winner carried by jubilant athletes. The minter “B.H. Mayer Pforzheim” and the medal’s 99% silver hallmark are engraved on the bottom edge. Well-preserved in both color and texture, Johansson’s gold shows the expected light wear from age and displays beautifully.

The 1936 Berlin Games, are considered the most famous and most important Olympic Games ever held. Often referred to as “Hitler’s Olympics,” the notorious German dictator -- eager to showcase "His Germany" to the world -- constructed brand new state-of-the-art stadiums and venues featuring the latest amenities. These Games are best remembered for USAT&F superstar Jesse Owens’ dominating performance on the track made instantly famous through unprecedented press coverage and the ground-breaking Olympia documentary by German filmaker Leni Riefenstahl. Winner's medals from '36 Berlin Games are among the most coveted Olympic artifiacts. Of those that surface in the hobby, the recipients are rarely known. Thus, a gold winner's medal awarded to a multi-champion and legend in his sport/event, makes this exemplar among the finest one can own.

This lot comes with the following: two vintage photos from the 1936 Berlin Olympics, one of the Swedish Olympic Team at Opening Ceremonies and the other of Ivar Johansson wrestling in competition; a letter of provenance from the Swedish auction house that represented the Johansson estate and originally sold this medal; a note from a Berlin Olympic Committee constituent (apparently mailed shortly after the '36 Games) offering the 2nd volume of Olympia 1936 to Johansson "with regard to [his] successful participation at the XI Olympic Games" (as it translates from German). We have translated both letters in full and this info is available upon request.

Current Bidding
Minimum Bid: $5,000
Final prices include buyers premium.: $12,865
Number Bids:9
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