By Paul Osborne

An Olympic medal from the 1896 Olympic Games in Athens has sold at auction ©Getty ImagesA winner's prize medal from the first Modern Olympic Games in Athens in 1896 has sold at auction for £180,000 ($286,000/€229,500).

The item was part a Graham Budd Sporting Memorabilia auction at Sotheby's in London.

The two-day auction includes more than a thousand pieces of sporting memorabilia from a wide range of sport.

The 1896 prize medal was the highest selling item on the opening day of the auction.

The piece was designed by French sculptor and medallist Jules Chaplain, who was responsible for the official portraits of every President of the French Republic from Patrice de Mac-Mahon, duc de Magenta, in 1877 to Émile Loubet in 1899.

The medal is signed and struck in silver and consists of a portrait of Zeus with the globe in his right hand, upon which stands the goddess of victory, Nike, holding an olive branch.

Next to Nike, in Greek, the word "Olympia" is inscribed.

A medal from the 1986 Olympic Games in Athens sold for £180,000 at an auction in London ©Graham Budd AuctionsA medal from the 1986 Olympic Games in Athens sold for £180,000 at an auction in London ©Graham Budd Auctions

On the reverse is a representation of the Acropolis and the Parthenon with a Greek inscription that reads "International Olympic Games Athens, 1896".

The item was sold together with an original postcard showing the scene inside the Olympic Stadium during the Opening Ceremony.

Along with the prize medal, the auction also saw the selling of the gold medal won by the Soviet Union's biathlon relay team member Nikolai Kruglov at the Innsbruck 1976 Winter Olympic Games for £56,000 ($89,000/€71,500).

Other items included a gold medal from the 1948 St Moritz Winter Olympic Games which went for £20,000 ($32,000/€25,500), the long jump bronze medal awarded to Robert Stangland of the United States at the St Louis 1904 Summer Olympic Games which sold for £18,000 ($29,000/€23,000) and the gold medal presented to Patrick Brennan, captain of the Canadian lacrosse team at the 1908 London Olympic Games.

This sold for £12,000 ($19,000/€15,000).

The second day of auction continues tomorrow where the 1966 FIFA World Cup winner's medals won by former England footballers Ray Wilson and Jimmy Greaves will likely be the highlights of the day, along with Sir Stanley Matthews' FA Cup Final winners' medal from 1953. 

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