How much for an Olympic torch?
The answer is that while run-of-the-mill Olympic torches turn out not to be that rare, these two examples are among the hardest to find, with just 33 ever made.
The torches were used in the trans-France relay that preceded the Winter Olympics held at Grenoble in 1968 and they turned up in separate Drouot auctions in Paris within the space of just ten days.
First off was the version featured in a small 15-lot section devoted to Olympic memorabilia in the January 29 auction of medals and historic memorabilia held by Beaussant Lefèvre at Drouot. This was missing the internal key to the burner, while the original red grip to the handle had been replaced by a green version, but it was otherwise in a very good state of repair with the original finish. An estimate of €30,000-40,000 proved wide of the mark with the hammer falling at €100,000 (£87,720).
Then on February 8 another of the 33 models turned up in a dedicated sports and Olympic memorabilia sale mounted by Olivier Couteau-Bégarie. This second version, which lacked the burner, carried a slightly higher €40,000-50,000 guide but realised a little less at €75,000 (£65,790).