Last Updated on January 30, 2021 by Netropolitan Museum
The year 1912 is perhaps most remembered for the sinking of the British passenger liner RMS Titanic on April 15 in the North Atlantic during its maiden voyage. But just a few weeks prior to that tragic maritime disaster, the best men and pairs skaters gathered in the United Kingdom, in Manchester, for the 1912 World Figure Skating Championships.1 The commemorative medal shown in the gallery below is another in the collection of The Netropolitan Museum of Figure Skating Pins that is steeped in history and provenance. It was presented to Ludowika Eilers and Walter Jakobsson for their second place finish in pairs at the event. Eilers, originally from Germany, and Jakobsson, from Finland, represented Finland as a married couple and became Olympic champions in 1920, Olympic silver medalists in 1924, and three times World Champions (1911, 1914, and 1923).
The medal measures 1-1/2″ in diameter (3.81 cm) and incorporates a loop atop where a ribbon or chain (sometimes used during the era) would have been attached but is now long since gone. The face of the medal features a detailed outdoor skating scene with a male figure skater in attire of the day and in a classic pose, looking as if he is about to execute a series of “fancy skating” moves. A gnarly tree and adjacent field with brushy growth offset the skater, seeming to push him closer. A cool patina covers the silver-colored medal, with tarnish highlighting the details in the barren tree branches and the edges of the skater.
The face of the medal features a detailed outdoor skating scene with a male figure skater in attire of the day and in a classic pose, looking as if he is about to execute a series of “fancy skating” moves.
The reverse of the medal is marked “National Skating Association of Great Britain” along the top circumference and “Manchester Skating Club” along the bottom. Also consistent with the era, the medal likely was given compliments of the host federation and club and therefore bears those organizations’ names. Engraved in the center is the Jakobsson’s achievement: “Pairs Championship, 1912, 2nd.” A decorative element adorns the engraving while a series of hallmarks is seen near the bottom.
A number of other medals and pins having belonged to the Jakobssons also are part of the collection of The Netropolitan. Some of these pieces have already been featured in blog posts at The Netropolitan (read these: 1910 World Championships, 1928 European Championships, 1932 World Championships, and 1952 European Championships). Other pieces from the Jakobsson estate will be featured in future blog posts.
Enjoy Fancy Skating in Manchester. 1912.
1 The 1912 World Figure Skating Championships for ladies was held separately, a common practice during the time. That event was contested in Davos, Switzerland.
1912 World Championships Gallery
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