An Olympic Torch from the 1952 Winter Games in Oslo has sold for $55,000 ©RR Auction

A rare Torch from the 1952 Winter Olympic Games in Oslo was the highest seller at the latest RR Auction sale.

The Torch, one of only 95 produced and constructed of a silver-coloured brass and steel alloy, sold for $55,000 (£42,000/ € 47,000), including the buyer's premium.

Designed by Geir Grung and Adolf Thoresen, the oval-shaped top on the Torch is engraved with large Olympic rings and a representation of the Relay route from Morgedal to Oslo.

Oslo 1952 was the first time that a Torch Relay had been held for the Winter Olympics and was designed to honour the origins of skiing, beginning in Morgedal, county of Telemark, at the birthplace of 19th-century legend Sondre Norheim, considered the father of skiing in Norway.

The symbolic Flame was then carried 225 kilometres by a total of just 94 Torchbearers, arriving two days later at Oslo's Bislett Stadium on February 15 for the Opening Ceremony.

The record for any Olympic Torch is $555,513 (£424,812/€427,415), set for one from Helsinki 1952 – of which there were only 15 manufactured – at Graham Budd Auctions last year.

Another Olympic Torch, from Mexico City 1968, also proved attractive at the Boston-based RR Auction, selling for $41,786.25 (£31,953.55/€35,533.80).

It was a rare "Type 6" Torch, constructed of steel with a central leather handle and three copper rings.

The discovery of the "Type 6" Olympic Torch occurred nearly 50 years after Mexico City 1968 when Olympic researchers used photographic evidence to certify its existence.

Aside from its distinction as being the first Spanish-speaking Olympiad, Mexico City 1968 holds the distinction of having the most styles of relay Torches.

A rare
A rare "Type 6" Torch from Mexico City 1968 proved an attractive item at the RR Auction ©RR Auction

This was due to the faulty design of the original Torch – "Type 1" – which, because of its aluminium alloy frame, overheated and made it impossible to carry.

Handles made of amianthus rope – "Type 2" – and leather "Type 3" – provided temporary solutions until the Torch's new, slimmer design resulted in the Torch top, with "Mexico 68" written, melting.

This too was addressed with the additions of the "Type 4" and "Type 5" Torches, but the creation of the "Type 6" Torch was due to an entirely different and more dangerous reason.

On a busy Barcelona street on September 1, 1968, Mariana Valls, son of the President of the Barcelona Athletics Federation, met Gregorio Rojo, who had represented Spain at London 1948 in the 5,000 and 10,000 metres, to pass the Olympic Flame from one Torch to another.

At the moment of transfer, Rojo's Torch exploded.

Both men received minor injuries, the Torch Relay continued shortly thereafter, and the cause of the detonation was attributed to the fuel volatility and the "too-rapid contact of a lighted Torch with an unlighted one".

In an attempt to protect future Torchbearers, as well as to prevent further bad publicity, a safer, simpler Torch was developed by the Spanish Olympic Committee (COE) – the "Type 6", a Torch that was exclusively made for use during certain portions of the Relay in Spain.

As further evidence, the COE had minted a special Torch Relay medal for the Spanish route, which clearly depicts the "Type 6" Torch.

By the time the Torch made landfall on Mexican soil on October 6 – having successfully recreated the route taken by Christopher Columbus to the New World – the Torch and its defect issues had been resolved.

An Olympic gold medal won by British wrestler Stanley Bacon at London 1908 sold for more than $33,000 ©RR Auction
An Olympic gold medal won by British wrestler Stanley Bacon at London 1908 sold for more than $33,000 ©RR Auction

A total of seven Olympic gold medals were also up for auction, with one won by British wrestler Stanley Bacon in the freestyle middleweight category at London 1908 earning the highest fee of $33,275.00 (£25,443/€28,294).

The medal, designed by Australian Bertram Mackennal and manufactured by Birmingham company Vaughton & Sons, was accompanied by its original red leather presentation case, with the top engraved in gilt with the event.

Solid gold medals were awarded at only four Games – Paris 1900, St Louis 1904, London 1908, and Stockholm 1912 – making this an especially appealing early Olympic piece.

A gold medal won by Soviet Union weightlifter Leonid Zhabotinsky at Tokyo 1964 sold for $30,250 (£23,130/€25,721).

Zhabotinsky, who was born in Ukraine, set 19 world records in the super heavyweight class, and won a second Olympic gold medal at Mexico City 1968.

At the Opening Ceremony in Mexico City, Zhabotinsky stole the show by gripping the 40-pound Soviet Union flag with only one hand.

Among those inspired by Zhabotinsky was a teenage Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Another wrestling gold medal, this one from Los Angeles 1984 and won by Romania's Vasile Andrei in the Greco-Roman 100 kilograms, sold for $24,361.25 (£18,627.78/€20,714.03).

A gold medal from Calgary 1988, won in the biathlon by Valeriy Medvedtsev in the 4x7.5 kilometres relay, attracted a winning bid of $15,365 (£11,749/€13,065).

A third auctioned gold medal won by a Soviet Union athlete was one of the three won during her career by fencer Tatyana Petrenko-Samusenko, in the foil women's team at Munich 1972.

That sold for $12,653.75 (£9,676.30/€10,759.40).

The other gold medals that were being auctioned were awarded to unnamed athletes in an unspecified event at Helsinki 1952 and in speed skating at Grenoble 1968 but remained unsold.

A 18K Patek Philippe watch given to a member of the International Olympic Committee sold for a five-figure sum ©RR Auction
A 18K Patek Philippe watch given to a member of the International Olympic Committee sold for a five-figure sum ©RR Auction

Other items that attracted strong interest included a rare 18K Patek Philippe Calatrava series quartz movement watch, made in 1994 and presented to an unnamed member of the International Olympic Committee (IOC).

It sold for $14,948.75 (£11,431.28/€12,712.26).

Patek very rarely integrate logos to their dial, with this example produced in limited quantity in commemoration of the 1994 Winter Olympic Games in Lillehammer.

As Omega has been the sponsor of the IOC since 1932, watches with the Olympic rings are not produced by other watchmakers except under special circumstances.

A London 2012 Summer Olympics safety lamp was another unusual item that proved popular, being auctioned for $13,872.50 (£10,609.94/€11,797.03).

Manufactured by the Protector Lamp and Lighting Co., of Eccles in Manchester, which has produced Olympic lanterns for the last 30 years, the safety lamp consists of a lower globe and brass frame, which features plates to front and back; the front features the London Games emblem with engraved text, "Olympic Torch Relay".

The design was a modified miner's lamp, which enabled the Flame to be safely transported by aircraft from Athens to Land's End in Cornwall on May 19 to begin the UK portion of the Torch Relay.