Held in the winter sports haven of Davos, Switzerland, from February 11 to 15, the 1948 World Figure Skating Championships were only the second to be contested following a seven-year suspension of the event (1940–1946) caused by World War II. In the gallery below are three items culled from the archives of The Netropolitan that were given in connection with the 1948 World Championships: two different pins and a medal issued to the then-president of the International Skating Union (ISU).
Competitors and selected others at the 1948 Worlds received the well-made pin of the Internationaler Schlittschuhclub Davos as a keepsake of their participation.1 The 1948 pin is one of only a few issued for a World Championship to feature a flower, in this case the Edelweiss, which is much-beloved in Switzerland and neighboring Austria. An old-style skate blade, inscribed with “I.S.C. DAVOS,” dangles gracefully from a chain attached at the back of the pin. Fashioned of a silver-colored metal, the pin measures 1″ x 1-3/8″ (2.54 cm x 3.4925 cm) and is clean and bright, much like the flower it was made to imitate. At the center of the blossom are florets, replicated here using an off-white, pearlized decoration. Although the petals of an actual Edelweiss blossom are covered in a white, woolly fuzz, the overall effect achieved on the pin is quite nice. It may not be entirely coincidental that the club pin was distributed, rather than a new pin being produced for the event, since supplies and suppliers likely still would have been short following the war.
An old-style skate blade, inscribed with “I.S.C. DAVOS,” dangles gracefully from a chain attached at the back of the pin. Fashioned of a silver-colored metal … the pin is clean and bright, much like the flower it was made to imitate.
Also distributed at the event was a differently designed club-related pin, this one for officials. On a gold-colored base metal with enamel fills, the 1-1/4″ diameter (3.175 cm) pin features a color palette of red and black. A snowflake, sometimes used as a symbol of winter on figure skating pins, is the central design element and stands off well against the black background. The word “Official” is superimposed over it in red. Around the circumference of the pin, in all capital letters and on a red background, is the club name: “Internationaler Schlittschuhclub Davos.” This pin would have been given to event officials, presumably judges, referees, delegation members, and others. The Curator of The Netropolitan has also seen this same pin design with the designation “Presse,” which would have been given to members of the news media covering the event.
Last in the gallery is a commemorative medal inscribed to H. J. Clarke, a 1924 Olympian for Great Britain and who served as president of the ISU from 1945 until 1953. The medal appears to be another standard club piece but was made special and specific to the event through an engraving. In gold, the face of the medal features a female figure skater in forward motion. The reverse of the medal carries the inscription in the center, elegantly done in script lettering: “1948 World Championships in Figure Skating, H. J. Clarke, President, ISU.” Around the circumference of the medal is the club name: “Internationaler Schlittschuhclub Davos.” This piece likely was presented to Mr. Clarke by the club as a thank-you gift in connection with the event being held under the auspices of the ISU.
In a prior blog titled Alpine Glory, The Netropolitan highlighted the pin from the 1947 European Figure Skating Championships, also held in Davos. The story for the pin issued for that event is similar to the 1948 World Championships, with the Edelweiss club pin also having been given out as a memento.1
Enjoy Alpine Glory II. 1948.
1Source: Quinn, Robert J. and Nancy D. Figure Skating Pins. Larchmont, N.Y. Quin-Tel Productions, Inc. 1987.
1948 World Championships Gallery
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