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8494   Los Angeles 1932 Summer Olympics Bronze Participation Medal  $200 $242 $267 4 You must login to place a bid.
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#8494 - Los Angeles 1932 Summer Olympics Bronze Participation Medal Estimate: $1,000+

Rare pre-production medal presented to LA's divisive mayor

Description Update

Correction: It has come to our attention that the medal has been re-soldered to the base.

Participation medal issued for the Los Angeles 1932 Summer Olympics, mounted and presented to controversial Los Angeles Mayor John Clinton Porter. Designed by Julio Kilenyi, the bronze medal measures 69 mm, with the front depicting an athlete standing with an unfurled Olympic flag reading “Xth Olympiad 1932,” and the reverse featuring two seated female figures supporting the shield of the United States under raised text, “Los Angeles, California”; the figure on the left is holding an olive branch, and the other rests her hand on a shield bearing the seals of the State of California and the City of Los Angeles. The medal is mounted to a bronze base which has been repaired, 101 mm x 63 mm, 430 gm, with laurel wreath design and lower border engraved: “John C. Porter, California Olympiad Commission.” 

LA Mayor John Clinton Porter, an ardent teetotaler noted for his mixture of reform politics and xenophobic Protestant populism, presided over the 1932 Summer Games as one of the five members of the California Olympiad Commission (COC). Before the some 4,000 participation medals were green-lit for production, the design needed approval by the COC. This mounted ‘desk display’ represents one of the five original prototypes given to COC members before the LA Summer Games participation medal officially entered said production. Unlike the finished and distributed medals, this edge of this example does not bear the engraved maker’s mark of the mint, “Whitehead–Hoag.” A rare and remarkably early LA Games medal given to the city's prohibition-minded mayor—Clinton famously forbade any alcoholic drinks to be served at the 1932 Games, although the US government did allow ‘French, Italian and other athletes to import and drink wine.’

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