Highlighted by the ultra-rare and important 1904 St. Louis1896-2012 Summer Olympics Participation Medals Complete Run of 27. The collecting of Olympic participation medals is an enduring and noble pursuit, and largely uncomplicated but for a single, nagging exception. That exception is the model issued to athletes at the 1904 St. Louis Games, the first American edition of the leading summit of international amateur athletes.
The 1904 Games were held in conjunction with the 1904 World's Fair/Exposition in St Louis. Fair organizers who had been granted rights to host these Games presented them like a side show to the exposition. Limited funding was appropriated by apathetic Fair executives to promote and stage the Olympics, thus attracting only a small number of competing athletes (most were from the U.S.). By the completion of the St Louis Games, budget restrictions and limited participation equated to the smallest number of participation medals ever produced for any Olympiad.
The offered example presents with a welcome minimum of apparent wear, much like the bulk of the collection's balance. The 1900 Paris Games lacked an official participation medal, thus a Silver Prize Medal appears in its stead, awarded for "Exercices Physiques et Sports." Original packaging appears the following medals: 1932, 1964, 1972, 1976, 1984, 1988, 1996, 2000, 2004, 2008, 2012.
The full hammer price of this lot will be donated to the Juvenile Protective Association, an award-winning non-profit dedicated to improving the social-emotional well-being and functioning of vulnerable children in school-based settings.
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