Lot 598: The Charles Bartlett London 1908 Olympic Games 100km Cycling Champion
November 7, 2016
London, United KingdomLive Auction
Description: The Charles Bartlett London 1908 Olympic Games 100km Cycling Champion Collection, comprising: i) a London 1908 Olympic Games gold prize winner's medal for the 100 kilometres cycling event by Bertram Mackennal, manufactured by Vaughton of Birmingham in hallmarked gold, two young maidens are crowning a winning athlete, the reverse with St George slaying the dragon, the rim inscribed 100 KILOMETRES. WON BY C.H. BARTLETT. WORLD RECORD, PRINCE OF WALES CUP, with later chain ii & iii) The Prince of Wales's Challenge Cup, a silver two-handled cup & cover by Carrington & Co., London, 1908, the body inscribed CHALLENGE CUP, PRESENTED BY GEORGE PRINCE OF WALES [LATER KING GEORGE V], OLYMPIC GAMES, LONDON 1908, 100 KILOMETRES BICYCLE RACE, C.H. BARTLETT, height 46cm., width across handles 35cm., weight 2,672gr., on an ebonised plinth, the underside with original paper label inscribed manuscript PRINCE OF WALES OLYMPIC CUP; and with accompanying plaque inscribed 100 KILOMETRE, OLYMPIC CHAMPIONSHIP CUP, PRESENTED BY H.R.H. THE PRINCE OF WALES, WON BY, C.H. BARTLETT iv) Charles Bartlett's Great Britain competitor's vest badge, white cloth with silkwork Union Jack flag and inscribed OLYMPIC GAMES, LONDON, 1908 v) Studd Trophy silver medal presented to Charles Bartlett by his cycling club, Polytechnic, to commemorate his Olympic achievement, the obverse similar to the Olympic gold medal with a design of St George slaying the dragon and the motto THE LORD IS OUR STRENGTH, the reverse inscribed PRESENTED TO CHARLES H. BARTLETT, WINNER OF, THE STUDD TROPHY, 1908, OLYMPIC GAMES CHAMPIONSHIP, 100 KILO [stet] CYCLE RACE, IN RECORD TIME, 2 HOURS 41 MINUTES 48 3/5 SECONDS Charles Henry Bartlett was born in Southwark, London, 6th February 1885. He was affiliated to Polytechnic Cycling Club in London when he won the 100km track race at the White City during the London 1908 Olympic Games. A remarkable achievement not only because he was the youngest competitor in the race, aged 23. As the cyclists set off it was raining very heavily which left parts of the track under water. The weather began to clear after 30 minutes or so but the track remained in a hazardous state and there were many falls and also punctures. One significant retirement from the race was the reigning 100km world champion, Britain's Leon Meredith. The eventual winner Bartlett himself suffered a fall with 30km to go and by the time the judges allowed him to remount with a new machine he was nearly a lap behind the leaders. He somehow found reserves of energy to chase down the field and then maintain a full sprint in the last mile to claim a memorable victory by two lengths from fellow Brit Charles Denny, with Octave Lapize of France claiming bronze. Bartlett's brave and determined performance lasted long in the memory of all who were there. As well as being awarded the gold medal, Bartlett was awarded the magnificent Prince of Wales Cup. This was one of eight challenge prizes awarded at the 1908 London Olympic Games, and the only one with Royal provenance. For the record the other prizes were the Brunetta Statuette for Rowing, the Brunetta Trophy for Swimming, The Football Associations Trophy, The Gold and Silversmiths' Cup for Wrestling, The Hurlingham Trophy for Polo, The International Cup for Fencing and Lord Westbury's Cup for Clay Bird Shooting. Charles Bartlett took up cycling at the age of 16 in 1901 with the Prince Alfred CC and won several club championship titles before moving to Polytechnic. Away from the Games, he won the NCU 50 miles tandem-paced title in 1908 and again in 1909 and broke several tandem-paced and motor-paced records. After his retirement, Bartlett built up a successful packing business but maintained an active interest in cycling and served as President of the Pickwick BC, England's premier bicycling club. He died in Enfield aged 83 30th November 1968.
Notes: Olympic Games