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    1960 Rome Summer Olympics Torch. The city of Rome had been named as the home of the 1908 Summer Games, but the 1906 eruption of Mount Vesuvius, the volcano that had buried Pompeii nearly two millennia earlier, devastated the city of Naples and necessitated the diversion of funds to the city's reconstruction. The 1908 Olympics were instead hosted by London, delaying the Rome Games by just over half a century.

    Today, the 1960 Olympics ranks among the most celebrated in the history of the Games, best remembered for the Gold Medal performance of Cassius Clay in the Light Heavyweight boxing division, the debut on the world's stage of a man who would gain peerless fame as three-time Heavyweight World Champion Muhammad Ali. Former polio patient Wilma Rudolph would cement her claim to the status of "fastest woman on Earth" with three Gold Medals in track and field, and the American basketball team, led by Hall of Famers Walt Bellamy, Jerry Lucas, Oscar Robertson and Jerry West, would likewise take the podium's top step.

    Presented is a torch that helped carry the flame to Rome's Stadio Olympico to light the cauldron and officially launch these historic Games. The torch design is elegant in its simplicity, recalling the columns of ancient Roman architecture, bearing text at the hilt reading, "Giochi Della XVII Olimpiade." Stamped on the base of the handle is attribution to the manufacturer, "M.F. Curtisa, Bologna" and serial number "3061." The torch measures sixteen inches (16") in length, and exhibits only minor handling and storage wear, most notably a very small ding to the upper rim. As is typical of all surviving Rome torches, the disposable flame guard that once separated the body of the torch from the fire is no longer present.

    Guide Value or Estimate: $8,000 - up.

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    Auction Dates
    August, 2016
    27th-28th Saturday-Sunday
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