Skip to main content
Go to accessibility notice

    Description

    The Americans set a new world record in the 4x400m relay!

    1924 Paris Summer Olympics Gold Medal & Many More Awards from American Sprinter J. Oliver MacDonald.

    The most famous American athlete of the 1924 Paris Games was Johnny Weissmuller, who claimed three Gold Medals in swimming (and a Bronze in water polo) en route to a silver screen career as Tarzan. The USA would lead the world with ninety-nine medals at Paris, forty-five of them being the Gold variety. We're pleased to present one of them here.

    This one was issued to American sprinter J. Oliver MacDonald, who ran the third leg of the 4x400m relay to set a new world record of three minutes and sixteen seconds. We find that medal secured in place in the offered shadow box display just to the left of the cabinet photo of MacDonald in his Olympic uniform. Obverse presents two athletes in a show of sportsmanship, with the Olympic rings below. Verso announces "VIIIeme Olympiade Paris 1924" beneath an assortment of sporting paraphernalia. Stamped on edge is "2 Argent," the latter the French word for "silver," as Olympic Gold Medals created after 1912 have been, in fact, gold-plated silver. The medal measures fifty-five millimeters (55 mm.) in diameter and weighs seventy-eight grams (78 g.). It presents without any flaws of significance.

    We find the Paris Games participation medal to the right of MacDonald's photo, a rare and desirable treasure as well, with the balance of nearly ninety awards carefully showcased nearby relating to his lengthy high school and collegiate racing successes. MacDonald attended high school in Paterson, New Jersey and college at the University of Pennsylvania, and a considerable amount of the awards reference these two institutions directly.

    All are secured with pins in an ancient wooden shadow box measuring 37x25x4". A splendid tribute to the Golden Age of American Sport, consigned to auction by the MacDonald family directly. Also included in the lot is MacDonald's University of Pennsylvania letterman's sweater, a pair of relay batons, two framed Olympics photos (MacDonald in Olympic blazer and together with his relay team), an Olympic trials third-place certificate, and a small collection of newspaper clippings and school documents.


    Guide Value or Estimate: $20,000 - up.

    Auction Info

    Bidding Begins Approx.
    January
    31st Friday
    Auction Dates
    February
    22nd-23rd Saturday-Sunday
    Proxy Bidding Begins Approx.
    8 Days
    Internet/Mail Bids: N/A
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 98
    Auction Type
    Signature Internet Extended Bid: These Auctions are presented via catalog and online. Bidding is taken through our website or via phone. There are two phases of bidding during this type of auction: 1) Normal bidding: Bids are taken up until 10 PM CT the night the auction closes. 2) 30 Minute Ending: On a lot-by-lot basis, starting at 10:00 PM CT, any person who has bid on the lot previously may continue to bid on that lot until there are no more bids for 30 minutes. For example, if you bid on a lot during Normal Bidding, you could participate during Extended Bidding for that lot, but not on lots you did not bid on previously. If a bid was placed at 10:15, the new end time for that lot would become 10:45. If no other bids were placed before 10:45, the lot would close. If you are the high bidder on a lot, changing your bid will not extend the bidding during the 30 Minute Ending phase (only a bid from another bidder will extend bidding). If you are the only bidder at 10 PM, you will automatically win the lot at 10:30. Important: After normal bidding ends, you must be signed-on to the Heritage site to see the bidding option on lots where you qualify for extended bidding.
    Track Item