Last Updated on August 26, 2023 by Netropolitan Museum
Profile: Lapel Pins – 1990 European Figure Skating Championships
In January 1990, some 20 years had passed since the 1970 European Figure Skating Championships had been staged in Leningrad, USSR.1 So it was, perhaps, a momentous occasion when the 1990 European Figure Skating Championships were staged in that city in late January of that year, commemorated with at least 10 different lapel pins. This was, thankfully, a significant reduction from the number of pins seen for the 1970 event, which remains the European Championships with the most known commemorative lapel pins.
The unique logo for the 1990 Europeans combines the year with a pictogram-style illustration of pairs figure skaters. It is one of the more memorable treatments for a championship event logo, and the year happened to lend itself well to the design. Most of the pins made for the event were special issue versions for those who served in a particular role. Let’s take a look at all 10 pins.
The main logo pin, shown first in the gallery, is produced from the same lightweight alloy typically seen in Russian pins. It carries the “1990” logo at the center, with the shortened event name and city at the top and bottom, respectively: “European Championships Leningrad.” On a silver-color base, the second “9” in “1990” is in red while all other lettering is in blue. The pin measures approximately 15/16″ square (2.4 cm).
The 1990 European Figure Skating Championships were marked with a number of pins—most of them special issues made for those who served a particular role in the event.
Next in the gallery are two alternate, larger versions of the logo pin, likely made for officials, or perhaps just additional styles of the logo pin. The first version is on a gold-color base, with the second “9” in “1990” appearing in red and the remaining lettering in gold. The white background contrasts well. The second version is on the same gold-color base but with no additional colors applied. Both pins are sleek and modern, more so than the main logo pin, and measure approximately 1‑1/4″ square (3.2 cm).
Six special-issue pins are displayed next in the gallery. These were likely produced in limited quantity and given only to those so named on the pins. Each pin carries the “1990” logo design but is assigned a different color, creating a series. On a silver-color base, the pins measure approximately 1‑1/4″ square (3.2 cm). Note that the designations are in Russian rather than English, as seen on the logo pin, and that no other information, such as location or event name, appears on the pins.
- “Yчастник” (“Participant”)
- “Cудья” (“Referee”)
- “Tренер” (“Coach”)
- “Rостевой” (“Guest”)
- “Oргкомитет” (“Organizing Committee”)
- “Nресса” (“Press”)
Finally, in the “which one doesn’t belong” category is the last pin in the gallery. Although clearly issued for the 1990 European Championships, the overall design and main illustration of the skater have no resemblance, branding-wise, to the other pins. This is not as perplexing as it may seem, since events held in the former Soviet Union were often commemorated with all sorts of unrelated and random pins (see the 1970 Europeans blog for examples). This pin is large, measuring approximately 2‑1/4″ in diameter (5.7 cm) and is on a silver-color base alloy with blue and white color fills. At the center of the pin, in dark blue, is a female figure skater in a classic pose with a blade tracing in the area beneath. Along the circumference of the pin in Russian are the location, year, and event name: “Leningrad 1990 European Figure Skating Championships.” Centered at the apex of the pin is a multi-masted ship, an emblem often associated with the city of Leningrad.
Enjoy this week’s figure skating pins blog: 1990 European Figure Skating Championships Pins: Leningrad 20 Years Later. And be sure to read the museum story for more information about figure skating pins.
1 Today, Leningrad is known once again by its original name, St. Petersburg.
This blog was originally published on July 2, 2022, and has been updated with additional details.
Pins Gallery: 1990 European Figure Skating Championships
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