Way Down in the Valley. 1956.

1956 World Championships at The Netropolitan Museum of Figure Skating Pins

In a valley in the Bavarian Alps and not far from the Zugspitze, Germany’s highest mountain peak, lies the resort of Garmisch-Partenkirchen. It’s a city (two towns, actually, that came together in 1935) with a history steeped in winter sports and with an Olympic heritage to boot. Skiing tops the list of wintertime activities in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, but figure skating has had its place as well, even if not very recently. The most notable events held there are the 1960 European Championships, the 1969 European Championships, and the subject of today’s blog about figure skating pins: the 1956 World Figure Skating Championships.

German graphic design, particularly from the 1950s and 1960s, is really marvelous. And this can be seen in its full prestige on the pins that commemorate the 1956 World Championships. They are highly visually appealing, made so in part by the clean and modern design but also through the high-quality craftsmanship. All of the pins shown in the gallery feature a striking logo element at the center: stylized pair skaters balanced on the heel plate of a large skate blade. The man, in black, and the lady, in bright red, contrast exceptionally well against the light blue background. A blade tracing curls around to partially enclose and draw attention to the skaters while another extends to the edge of the pin to underscore the sense of motion. There is an airiness to the pin.

The pins that mark the 1956 World Figure Skating Championships … are highly visually appealing, made so in part by the clean and modern design but also through the high-quality craftsmanship.

Along the top and right-hand edges of the main pin is the event name: “Eiskunstlauf Weltmeistershaft.” Stacked at the bottom of the pin, below the skaters, are the year and location: “1956, Garmisch-Partenkirchen.” On a gold-colored base metal with enamel fills, the pin measures approximately 15/16″ x 1-1/4″ (2.4 cm x 3.2 cm).

Also issued at the event were larger pins that feature special designations, with several examples shown in the gallery: Participant (Aktiv), Official (Funktionär), and Press (Presse). These pins, or others like them, would have been made in limited number and incorporate the main logo pin mounted onto a larger base with a leaf motif around the edges and designation at the top. Measuring approximately 1-3/16″ x 1-5/8″ (3 cm x 4.1 cm), these pins are on either a silver-color or bronze-color base metal. The additional weight and texture of the base make these standout examples of figure skating pins that truly mark the significance of a World Championship event.

Enjoy this week’s figure skating pins blog: Way Down in the Valley. 1956.

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  • Copyright-protected image. Do not download or use without express written consent of the copyright holder.
  • Copyright-protected image. Do not download or use without express written consent of the copyright holder.
  • Copyright-protected image. Do not download or use without express written consent of the copyright holder.

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