A solid gold medal in motor racing from the Paris 1900 Olympics features in the auction ©SCP Auctions

A rare 22 karat gold medal from the Paris 1900 Olympic Games - which was won in automobile racing - is currently featuring in an auction of memorabilia by SCP Auctions.

The Games, which were held in conjunction with the World Fair which was taking place in the French capital, marked the only appearance of motor racing in a Summer Olympics.

It was an unofficial sport at the Games, which featured 14 events.

While the recipient of the medal is unknown, Louis Renault, one of the founders of the Renault car company, won the Paris-Toulouse-Paris small car event but received a cash prize rather than a gold medal due to competing as a professional.

The rare medal is being auctioned at a minimum price of $15,000 (£9,948/€14,160) with motor racers at the Games having received a pure gold medal rather than gold plated ones, which were awarded in other sports, to reflect the significance of the sport at the time.

A gold medal from athletics, which saw 117 athletes competing in 23 events, is also available in the auction with the item considered “rare” as the majority of winners at the Games received cups or trophies in recognition of their victory.

Designed by Frédéric Vernon, the medal is inscribed with "concours de jeux athletiques", meaning “Athletic Games Competition", while it features the winged goddess of victory Nike on its reverse with the inscriptions “Republique Francaise, Paris 1900, exposition universelle” as well as the designer’s name.

The medal is currently being auctioned at a minimum price of $5,000 (£3,315/€4,720) with the second modern Olympics having been the only one in history in which the medals issued were in the form of rectangular-shaped plaques.

Carl Shy's basketball gold medal from Berlin 1936 comes with a letter of Authenticity from the Shy Family
Carl Shy's basketball gold medal from Berlin 1936 comes with a letter of authenticity from the Shy family ©SCP Auctions

A swimming gold from the Games, which was the first to feature female athletes, is also being auctioned with the minimum price also standing at $5,000 (£3,315/€4,720) with the deadline for bids coming on December 5.

American basketball player Carl Shy’s gold medal from the Berlin 1936 Olympics is another item featured in the auction, with the sport having been a medal event for the first time in its history after it was a demonstration sport at St Louis 1904.

The final, which was affected by rain having been played outdoors, saw the United States overcome rivals Canada 19-8 with each of the medals being awarded to their recipients by James Naismith, the inventor of basketball.

The current bid for the medal stands at $10,982 (£7,283/€10,365), although the gold medal now features a hole at the top as Shy’s wife opted to have it chained so she could wear it around her neck.

Along with the medals, the auction also features several Olympic torches from various Games, with the oldest coming from the Berlin 1936 Olympics.

For more information click here.

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