the winners medal awarded to Raymond Etherington-Smith, captain of the Leander eight, the obverse inscribed 'Olympic Games, London 1908', the edge inscribed 'Winner, Eight-Oared Race'
15ct. gold, 1½in. (3.5cm.) diam.
together with the original box, a watercolour of Etherington-Smith by Leslie Ward 'Spy' (1851-1922) and an original photograph of the oarsman. (3)
Raymond Etherington Smith and by descent to his great nephew

If you wish to view the condition report of this lot, please sign in to your account.

Sign in
View condition report

Lot Essay

Great Britain chose a vastly experienced Leander crew for the eights at the 1908 Olympics, with the aim of defeating the powerful young Belgian team. The 31-year-old Raymond Etherington-Smith was selected for captain and, after the Belgian boat capsized, led the GB team to win by two lengths. The victory contributed to what was become GB Rowing Team's most successful Games of the modern era and confirmed Britain's place as the greatest rowing nation in the world.

Raymond Etherington-Smith competed for the London Rowing Club and was a member of their Thames Cup crew in 1895 before attending Trinity College, Cambridge. He rowed against Oxford in 1899 and 1900 and in his last year, when he was President; a unique record was set when he competed against his brother, Thomas, who was in the Oxford boat. The Cambridge crew beat the Oxford team that year by a massive 20 lengths - the most decisive margin of victory in the history of the race. On leaving Cambridge, Raymond Etherington-Smith qualified as a surgeon but after performing an operation at St. Bartholomew's Hospital he contacted peritonitis which sadly caused his death aged just 36 years old. St Bartholomew's named and re-modeled an operating theatre in memory of the promising young surgeon.

Related Articles

View all
Rapper’s delight: the record c auction at Christies
What to look for on the back o auction at Christies
Hermès Birkin bags: a guide to auction at Christies

More from The London Sale

View All
View All