Extraordinary Gold winners medal awarded to boxer Wilbert McClure as champion of the light middleweight division in the Rome 1960 Summer Olympics will be auctioned by Boston based RR Auction
The medal features a Seated Victory with the Colosseum in the background. The medal is set in its original cast bronze olive leaf chain, inscribed at the bottom with the name of the sport in Italian, Pugilato. Complete with original presentation box; the cover, interior padding, and some sides of the box are detached or loose. Includes a photo of McClure with his fellow American 1960 Olympic boxing champions, Cassius Clay and Eddie Crook, signed and inscribed in gold ink by McClure.
An absolutely remarkable Olympic medal in all respects; in addition to its importance as a 1960 boxing gold medal, it holds a place in the history of the prize itself. The winners medals issued for the 1960 Rome Olympics were the first designed to be worn around the neck and the first for any Summer Games to feature the name of the specific sport. As a gold medal for boxing, this is also the same exact type of medal awarded to Cassius Clay for his first-place finish in the light heavyweight division. Only ten of these Pugilato medals were awarded across the ten weight classes competing in 1960 Olympics.
A boxer's son, McClure began sparring at thirteen, won two Golden Gloves, two AAUs, and caught the attention of young Muhammad Ali himself. Though fighting with a busted right hand since his first Olympic match, by the fourth and final fight against Italian boxer Carmelo Bossi, McClure won a 4-1 decision to join fellow Americans Cassius Clay and Eddie Crook on the medal podium. The following year, 'Skeeter' went pro for a career that lasted until 1970.
Complete with original presentation box; the cover, interior padding, and some sides of the box are detached or loose. Includes a photo of McClure with his fellow American 1960 Olympic boxing champions, Cassius Clay and Eddie Crook, signed and inscribed in gold ink by McClure, To Dick R., Thanks, Skeeter. This medal was obtained directly from McClure in 2002 and this is the first time it has been publicly offered. (Estimate $20,000 - $25,000)
Between its tremendous rarity and historical interest, this museum-quality medal represents the pinnacle of Olympic artifacts, said Robert Livingston, Executive VP at RR Auction.
Further highlights form the auction include:
Calgary 1988 Winter Olympics torch, comprised of aluminum with a maple handle, emblazoned on the handle with pictograms of ten Winter Olympic sports. The torch was designed to resemble the Calgary Tower, an iconic landmark in the Canadian city. The torch relay was an enormous event, with approximately 6,500 torchbearers drawn from an application pool of over six million. After the lighting ceremony in Olympia, the flame was flown to Newfoundland. The torch traveled 18,000 km through Canada over 88 days. Unlike many relays, the torches were shared and thus only about one hundred were manufactured. (Estimate $50,000 - $60,000)
Chamonix 1924 Winter Olympics Gold Winners Medal. Complete with official red leather presentation box. The 1924 Chamonix Games were the very first Winter Olympics and sixteen nations were represented. Only 294 athletes participated, making any Chamonix medal very rarefirst place winners medals are, of course, the most desirable. According to the official medal count, only 33 first place gold winners medals were awarded. (Estimate: $50,000 - $60,000.)
St. Louis 1904 Summer Olympics Participation Medal. These medals were presented only to athletes and represent the rarest and most valuable of all Olympic participation medals. Fewer than 700 athletes from twelve different countries competed in the 1904 Olympic Games, the smallest representation of nations in the history of the Olympics. The officials badges used the same design as this medal but had a loop on the top for a ribbon, while these athletes participation medals have an entirely plain edge. Because the Olympics were held in conjunction with the Louisiana Purchase Exposition, these are also desired by Worlds Fair collectors. (Estimate: $20,000 - $25,000)
Garmisch 1936 Winter Olympics Winners Medal Prototype. Complete with red leather presentation box, which remained unchanged for the final version. Only 755 athletes competed in these games, with a total of only 36 gold, 36 silver, and 36 bronze medals minted, making these medals extremely scarce in their own right. Designed by Richard Klein and minted by Deschler & Sohn, this prototype was authorized for production by the German Organisation Committee for Garmisch-Partenkirchen. (Estimate: $35,000 - $40,000)
Innsbruck 1976 Winter Olympics Gold Winners Medal for ice hockey, won by USSR. The Soviet Union won the gold medal in ice hockey for the fourth straight Olympics as one of the most dominant teams of all-time. (Estimate: $20,000 - $25,000)
The Olympic Records and Rivals auction from RR Auction will begin on January 14, 2016 and conclude on January 21, 2016.