Last Updated on August 22, 2020 by Netropolitan Museum
At the 1925 World Figure Skating Championships, which took place for men and pairs in February of that year in Vienna, Austria, it was a banner championship for the host country, with Austrian skaters taking gold in both disciplines contested. The raid on world figure skating medals by Austria didn’t stop there. Austrian men also claimed silver and bronze in a podium sweep, and a pair team captured bronze. Earlier in the year at the separately contested ladies event held in Davos, Switzerland, it also was an Austrian skater in the top spot.
To mark the event in Vienna, competitors received a beautifully designed bronze participation medal by Josef Prinz, a noted Austrian sculptor whose wide variety of work is still collected today. The medal, signed “Jos Prinz” in the lower right corner, reflects the high quality of craftsmanship seen in commemorative pieces of the time. A custom presentation box imprinted with the logo of the Wiener Eislauf Verein (“WEV,” or Viennese Skating Club) housed the medal. Looking as impressive today as it must have some 95 years ago, the medal is a substantial and long-lasting memento of an early era of world figure skating.
The medal reflects the high quality of craftsmanship seen in commemorative pieces of the time.
A central figure stands atop a skate blade and carries a laurel wreath adorned with a flowing ribbon. The laurel wreath has long represented victory in sport and is often associated with Apollo, an Olympian diety of Greek and Roman mythology. The figure itself may have been intended to depict Apollo, the patron of sport. Beneath the figure is the logo of Wiener Eislauf Verein, the letter “E” intertwined with old-style skates blades. The event name, year, and host club are below the logo: “Weltmeisterschaften 1925 Wiener Eislauf Verein.” There likely were fewer than 30 to 40 of this medal produced for the 1925 Worlds.
Enjoy The Bronze Age. 1925.