Fall Premier Auction 2017


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This lot is closed for bidding. Bidding ended on 11/4/2017

Addendum: Description has been updated. Identifiable/personalized engravings on the obverse of each are now accurate.

Presented here is a pair of award medals from the 1900 Paris Exposition Games (aka The World's Fair), which lasted from May 14 to October 28, and were later given credit as the 2nd Modern Olympic Games following the 1896 Olympics in Athens, Greece. The organizers so under-promoted the Olympic status of the competitions that many of the athletes never knew they were participating in Olympic events.

Known as "Chaplain” medals in honor of designer J.C. Chaplain, these have long been collected as proxy participation medals; however, no participation medals were issued for the 1900 Paris Exposition/Olympic Games. A total of five variations of Chaplain medals were issued by the Universal Exposition Committee as a general award, with most recipients being individual members of firms or institutions. Bronze is the most common. Silvered Bronze and Gilt Bronze are much scarcer. Two other versions—Solid Silver and Gilt Silver “Vermeil”—are so rare that some Olympic collectors wonder if they even exist.

The Bronze and Gilt Bronze examples offered here each have a diameter of 63 mm and a thickness of 3 mm. The bronze weighs 98 grams, while the gilt bronze weighs 102 grams. Both have the same relief design. The obverse features a winged Nike victory figure supporting an athlete who holds a torch to the sky. "Exposition Universelle Internationale" surrounds the rim, with "1900" above the Nike figure on the right. Below the Nike figure is the name of designer "J.C. Chaplain." The gilt bronze medal has the name of its recipient engraved in a raised rectangular box at the bottom: "M.LOBRE". The other bronze's same size raised box at the bottom has the following engraving: "MINISTERE DE L'INDUSTRIE ET DU TRAVAIL BRUXELLES". On the reverse are the words "Republique Franciase" around an image of Marianne, a national symbol of the French Republic, and a Paris skyline. The side edge of each medal is stamped with the cornucopia symbol of the French Mint and "BRONZE.” The bronze presents VF and the gilt bronze (which resembles a shiny gold medal) appears GVF.

Current Bidding
Minimum Bid: $200
Final prices include buyers premium.: $514
Number Bids:9
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