In his native Italy, the legendary Carlo Fassi won the second of his two European Championship titles in 1954 in Bolzano, situated in the northeast corner of the country. Fassi was 10-time Italian champion in singles and 9-time champion in pairs with Grazia Barcellona. And, of course, he went on to become, inarguably many say, the greatest figure skating coach the sport has seen. He was part trainer, part psychologist, and part politician. Together those parts created a whole. A master.
The pin made to commemorate the 1954 European Figure Skating Championships in Bolzano somewhat mirrors the complexities of Fassi himself: highly detailed, exceedingly colorful, and extremely memorable. To the knowledge of The Curator, the Bolzano pin is the only one issued for a major figure skating championship to feature a flower—in this case, a lily—so boldly and prominently as a central design element. Although other pins have featured flowers, they have not done so with the same artfulness.
The petals of the stylized lily are cleverly divided and designed to contain the national flags of the athletes competing at the championships.
On a silver-color base metal and executed in relief with enamel fill, the pin is impressive in size at 1-5/16″ x 1-7/8″ (3.33375 cm x 4.7625 cm). The petals of the stylized lily are cleverly divided and designed to contain the national flags of the athletes competing at the championships. Covering roughly 50% of the surface area, the blossom dominates the pin, with the stem pushing it upward, as if blooming especially for the event. If something so serendipitous could actually happen, it likely would take place in Italy. A female figure skater in light blue in a classic stag position is superimposed on the flower. The year, location, and event name are all neatly and artfully stacked on the pin: “1954, Bolzano, Campionati Europei.”
The form and function of the pin are exceptional. They don’t make them like that anymore. The same can be said of Carlo Fassi.
Enjoy Form and Function. 1954.
1954 European Championships Gallery
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