The Blue Danube. Johann Strauss (I and II). Wiener Schnitzel. The Vienna Philharmonic. Wiener Eislauf-Verein. The Austrian capital of Vienna is well-known for all these things and more, but it is the latter that plays into the 1952 European Figure Skating Championships, serving as host club for Europe’s premier event in the sport.
The 1952 European Championships helped to mark the momentous occasion of the 85th anniversary of the Wiener Eislauf-Verein (Viennese Skating Club), one of the oldest skating clubs in the world. Contested on the expansive outdoor ice surface under the February skies, the championships saw such notable names as Jeannette Altwegg, Jacqueline du Bief, Carlo Fassi, and Jennifer and John Nicks take home medals for their countries. Just 15 years later, when celebrating its 100th anniversary, the club had the honor of hosting the 1967 World Figure Skating Championships, the last World Championship to be contested outdoors.
In high detail, with the facade of the Viennese Skating Club as the focal point, the pin is a substantial memento of both the event and the location.
The pin produced to mark the 1952 European Championships is large and impressive and speaks to a time when major events were commemorated with pins that reflected their importance. This is shown in the pins in the gallery below: the first was issued to a competitor (“Teilnehmer”) and the second to a press delegate (“Presse”). Both designations are in German, the official language of Austria. The last pin is from the estate of Walter Jakobsson, who officiated at the event. Jakobsson and his wife, Ludowika Eilers-Jakobsson, were the 1920 Olympic champions, 1924 Olympic silver medalists, and several times World Champions. This pin is customized for Jakobsson (“Ing. W. Jakobsson”). Following his stellar achievements in figure skating, Jakobsson was an engineer and technical director for a leading crane manufacturing company in his homeland of Finland.
At 2-3/16″ x 1-5/8″ (5.6 cm x 4.1 cm), the Vienna pin is among the largest known to have been issued to commemorate a figure skating event. In high detail, with the façade of the old building at the Viennese Skating Club as the focal point, the pin is a substantial memento of both the event and the location. The strong red background highlights the individual’s role in the event and perfectly complements the cool color of the base metal. In the center of the pin are the event name, location, and date: “Europameisterschaft im Kunstlaufen Wien 4.-6. Feber 1952.”1
Enjoy Vienna Skates for You. 1952.
1 Special thanks to Skate Austria for details about the 1952 pin.