Bréal’s Olympic Silver Cup Auctions for £541,250 at Christies

Bréal’s Silver Cup, the winner’s cup from the first ever competitive Marathon race, held at the first Modern Olympic Games in Athens in 1896, broke the world record price for an item of Olympic memorabilia sold at auction, selling within the Vintage Posters & Olympic Icons auction at Christie’s South Kensington for £541,250 / $861,129 / €655,454 (estimate: £120,000-160,000).

Christies Image

Presented at auction for the first time, the unique cup, which stands at only six inches high (15 cm), was offered for sale by the grandson, and namesake of the famous Greek athlete who won it – Spyros Louis. It was bought by The Stavros Niarchos Foundation and will be shared with the Greek people by being permanently displayed for public view at the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center upon its completion in 2015. In the interim, the Foundation will work to find a suitable and temporary location for display.

The auction as a whole realized a total of £1,260,275/ $2,005,098 / €1,524,933. Further Olympic highlights from the sale included a vintage poster advertising travel to the first London Olympics in 1908, which sold for £15,000; The Harold Abrahams Collection of memorabilia dating from 1911-1924, which sold for £39,650; and an Olympic Torch from the 1948 London Olympics, which sold for £6,250.