Last week’s blog, “A Triple Header,” was dedicated to the 1936 European Figure Skating Championships, the first of the season’s “big three” events to be contested. The 1936 World Figure Skating Championships, held in Paris, France, capped off the whirlwind 30 days that had begun in Berlin in January and had seen figure skating gold awarded in February at the Olympic Winter Games in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany. The top results at the World Championships looked the same as they had at the previous two events: Sonja Henie, Karl Schäfer, and Maxi Herber and Ernst Baier all again taking gold. Lather, rinse, repeat.
It wasn’t only results from the 1936 events that had a similarity. The pins issued for the European and World Championships that year bear a striking design resemblance to one another. Non-identical twins, you might say. Although the pin from the European Championships bears a maker’s mark (“Rob. Neff, W.57 Berlin”), the World Championships pin is not likewise marked. But to account for the similarity of the pins, it is likely that both were produced by the Berlin firm and may even have been made at the same time to capitalize on efficiency of production. It is unlikely that another maker copied the European Championships pin design, size, and shape and subsequently used it for the World Championships pin.
It wasn’t only results from the 1936 events that had a similarity. The pins issued for the European and World Championships that year bear a striking design resemblance to one another.
Like the 1936 Europeans pin, the Worlds pin is made of a silver-color base metal with blue enamel fill in the lettering and artwork. In this case, the lettering is more distinctive in style than that seen on the European Championships counterpart, perhaps an intentional contrast made between the more artistic Paris and the more workaday Berlin (Germany was, after all, Nazi Germany at the time). At the center of the pin, a skate blade—only slightly different from that used on the European Championships version—stands above the event location, “Paris.” Above the skate blade is the event venue, “Palais des Sport.” And around the circumference of the pin, in French, are the event name and year: “Championnats du Monde de Patinage Artistique, 1936.” With a slightly convex shape, the pin measures 1-3/16″ in diameter (approx. 3 cm) and is beautiful in its simplicity.
The pin in this gallery is from the collection of Ernst Baier, many times World and European champion and 1936 Olympic champion with Maxi Herber, and would have been given to him at the event. The Netropolitan is honored to have this pin in its collection. Like most pins produced in the era, this example from the 1936 Worlds would have been made in limited number and likely given only to participants and selected others.
Enjoy Non-Identical Twins. 1936.