Extremely rare official's participation medal issued for the St. Louis 1904 Olympics. Copper, 40 mm, 30 gm, by Dieges & Clust, New York. The front, inscribed, "Olympic Games, St. Louis, USA, 1904," features an idealized nude athlete mid-stride with a laurel branch in his hand; the reverse features the lengthy text, "1803, Universal Exposition Commemorating the Olympic Games, 1904, Physical Culture Department, Frederick J. V. Skiff, Director of Exhibits," encircled by ivy leaves with the shield emblems of St. Louis, France, and USA. Topped with a loop, this type of medal was originally suspended from a colorful ribbon and issued only to officials to be worn as a badge; those issued to athletes were identical, but lacked the loop and instead had an entirely plain edge. The 1904 St. Louis is the rarest and most coveted of all Olympic participation medals.
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