Fall Premier Auction 2019

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Featured here is a rather scarce Olympic torch from the 1948 London Summer Olympics, called the Austerity Games due to the economic climate and post-war rationing. No new venues were built for the games, and athletes were housed in existing accommodations instead of an Olympic Village. These were the first Summer Games held after a 12-year hiatus. A record 59 nations were represented by 4,104 athletes (3,714 men and 390 women) in 19 sports. Germany and Japan were not allowed to attend; the USSR was invited but chose not to participate. A total of 1,720 torches were made for the flame relay, roughly half the number produced and distributed for the first relay at the 1936 Berlin Summer Games.

The London torches were designed by Ralph Lavers and made of aluminum alloy. The 14 cm diameter bowl is pierced with three sets of Olympic rings and is inscribed around the lower rim "XIVth OLYMPIAD 1948, OLYMPIA TO LONDON, WITH THANKS TO THE BEARER." They used stainless steel holders for the magnesium candle to ensure a minimum burning time of 15 minutes. The torch stands 16 inches (41 cm) tall, with the circular bowl measuring 6 inches (15 cm) in diameter. All that's missing is its flame holder/burner, which rarely is found still attached. This torch appears to have been used in the relay as there is some ashy discoloration around the rim of the bowl. The metal handle and base display obvious wear as well. Overall there are no significant condition issues. A wonderful example of this coveted torch from the second Olympic flame relay.

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Current Bid: $1,612
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