Even before the 1964 Olympic Winter Games opened in Innsbruck, Austria, a dress rehearsal for the 1968 Olympic Winter Games, still more than four years away, was already taking place in Grenoble, France: the 1964 European Figure Skating Championships. Europe’s best came together to claim titles in men’s singles, ladies’ singles, pair skating, and ice dancing. A few of those who competed in Grenoble in 1964 as underlings would return to the city for those 1968 Games in search of an Olympic medal.
Although the event results were unspectacular and instead turned out much as expected, the event truly outdid itself with an artistic and high quality pin to commemorate the occasion. Seasoned collectors agree that the 1964 Europeans pin is among the most beautiful—if not the most beautiful—issued for a European Championship. Everything about it is right, from the delightfully off-kilter design to the colors used to the simplicity of style to the slightly textured background that shimmers. And to top it off, in gilding-the-lilly style, specially marked and differently colored ribbons were affixed to those pins given to officials, competitors, press, and others. Several examples of these are shown in the gallery below.
Although the event results were unspectacular and instead turned out much as expected, the event truly outdid itself with an artistic and high quality pin to commemorate the occasion.
The pin is on a rich gold-colored base metal with blue and white enamel fills on both the main background and the central female figure skater in an elegant spiral position. The skater seems to float on the pin, her extended arms and leg reaching beyond the constraints of the background shape. It is effective and clever design and one of the better illustrations of a skater that has been seen on pins. Around the perimeter of the pin are the event location, name, and year: “Grenoble, Championnat d’Europe, 1964.” Note how the shape behind the skater is off-center on the pin, creating white space that is highly appealing visually. The main pin measures approximately 1-3/16″ x 1-9/16″ (3 cm x 4 cm) and is the same for all the versions of the pin shown in the gallery. The attached ribbons measure differently in length and width from pin to pin. Shown are:
- Main Logo Pin
- Unmarked Official (light blue ribbon)
- “Concurrent” = “Competitor” (light yellow ribbon)
- “Officiel” = “Official” (red–orange ribbon)
- Unmarked Official (multi-stripe ribbon, reminiscent of the French flag so perhaps is a special version given to French federation members or dignitaries)
- “Presse” = “Press” (yellow ribbon)
Enjoy Dress Rehearsal. 1964.
1964 European Championships Gallery
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