A River Runs Through It. 1957.

1957 European Championships at The Netropolitan Museum of Figure Skating Pins

The Vienna Boys’ Choir. Sachertorte. Vienna State Opera House. The Danube. Wiener Eislauf-Verein. All of these fine things, and so many more, are well-associated with the Austrian capital of Vienna, but it is the latter that hosted Europe’s premier figure skating event some 64 years ago: the 1957 European Figure Skating Championships.

Not all figure skating pins are either notable or memorable, which are common criticisms offered here at The Netropolitan. Neither of these criticisms, nor any others, can be said of the pin that marks the occasion of the 1957 European Championships, a large and impressive specimen that reflects the importance of the event. The Viennese got it right with this pin, not only incorporating the international aspect of the sport but even memorializing the Wiener Eislauf-Verein (Viennese Skating Club). The famed club, one of the oldest clubs in the world, had an impressive run in the 1950s hosting major championships: 1952 Europeans, 1955 Worlds, and 1957 Europeans.

Not all figure skating pins are either notable or memorable … Neither of these criticisms, nor any others, can be said of the pin that marks the occasion of the 1957 European Championships.

At the center of the pin, in relief, is the façade of the old building at the Viennese Skating Club and below that the event name, location, and date: “Europameisterschaft im Kunstlaufen, Wien, 14.-16. Feber 1957.” On a silver-colored base metal, the textured background combines with several decades’ worth of patina to create a warm, shadowed effect around the illustration and lettering. Neatly and boldly encircling the focal point are, presumably, the flags of the nations that took part in the contest. Although the record books show competitors from 12 nations, the pin shows the flags of 14 nations, including these three not seen in the results: The Netherlands, Sweden, and Yugoslavia. So all that adds up to 15 nations total. The difference? In 1957, both West Germany (the Federal Republic of Germany) and East Germany (the German Democratic Republic) used the same flag, which is depicted only once on the pin. For another event where the number of flags and results don’t match, read the blog about the pin from the 1951 World Championships, held in Milan, Italy.

Measuring approximately 2-3/8″ in diameter (6 cm), the bright and colorful enamel fills on the flags perfectly contrast with the cool metal base. This pin is a notable and memorable souvenir of the European continent’s most prestigious figure skating event.

Enjoy A River Runs Through It. 1957.

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1 thought on “A River Runs Through It. 1957.”

  1. […] Around the circumference of the pin on a blue background are the event name, location, and year: “Kunstlauf-Weltmeisterschaft, Wien, 1955.” The generous radius of the corners adds a graceful and sleek touch to an otherwise uninspired pin, which measures approximately 1-3/8″ x 1-5/16″ (3.5 cm x 3.3 cm). Other better examples of pins and a medal from major figure skating events held in Vienna have been featured in previous blogs at The Netropolitan and include: the 1925 World Championships, 1967 World Championships, and 1957 European Championships. […]

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