1957 World Figure Skating Championships Pins: A Roundup from the Rodeo.

Profile: 1957 World Figure Skating Championships Pins

Some of the finest figure skating pins from World Championships come from events held in Colorado Springs, Colorado, the skating mecca in the near-middle portion of the state. It never hurt, either, that those events were held at the famed Broadmoor Ice Palace (later, the World Arena) formerly on the grounds of The Broadmoor Hotel. The hotel was the place to see and be seen. So with that reputation, the pins had to be good, and that is the case with those from the 1957 World Figure Skating Championships. The occasion boasts at least three very different pins.

Known as the “teardrop” pin, the first pin has a gentle convex shape and is in enamels of blue, white, and orange–red. The orange–red is reminiscent of the clay-colored earth that surrounds Colorado Springs. The reverse of the pin (not shown) features a traditional pinback and a slide mechanism to accommodate a cord. This design allows the pin to function as a bolo tie. In the top third of the pin and on a light blue background is the main façade of The Broadmoor. On a dark blue background, the lower two thirds carries a latitude and longitude-style globe with a stylized figure skater in white. Around the globe, on a white background, is the event name and host site: “World Figure Skating Championships, Broadmoor.” Tucked just above the circular area are the words “Site Of,” a reference to The Broadmoor. The location is on a curved path near the bottom: “Colorado Springs, Colorado.”

Unlike the other pins, this pin is undated, although a version with “1957” in the area above the globe does exist. The pin, which measures approximately 1‑3/16″ x 2″ (3 cm x 5 cm) and is on a gold-color base metal, speaks to the 1950s. It is a high-quality souvenir from a memorable event.

Some of the finest figure skating pins from World Championships were made for events held in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

Next in the gallery is the “shell” pin, so-called because the design, especially along the bottom and in the ridges on the main body, somewhat resembles a seashell. Interestingly, this is also one of only a few pins from a major event made of sterling silver, and it is stamped accordingly on the reverse. At the center of the pin is a female skater, arms extended and perfectly balanced on toe picks. It’s reminiscent of Tenley Albright and is possibly modeled after the champion herself. Curved along the top left of the pin is the event name: “World Figure Skating Championships.” Stacked to the right of the skater are the host site, location, and year: “The Broadmoor, Colorado Springs, 1957.”

It is not unusual for this pin to be heavily tarnished if found today, more than six decades later. However, a bit of silver polish and gentle cleaning will bring it back to a near-new condition. Interestingly, the pin shown here came from an antiques dealer in Colorado who dug it up in May 2000 while searching for old bottles near the Broadmoor World Arena. After decades resting in the field the pin cleaned up perfectly and was no worse for the wear. The pin measures 1‑3/8″ x 1‑7/16″ (3.5 cm x 3.6 cm).

A complex, possibly one-of-a-kind pin is shown next. It comes from the estate of Montie Montana, a cowboy, rodeo star, and stunt man with a film career that spanned from the early 1930s through the late 1960s. Montana was on-site at The Broadmoor Hotel to playfully “lasso” competitors and others in a sort of mock rodeo. Colorado Springs, of course, is well known for a rich rodeo history, including the annual Pike’s Peak or Bust Rodeo.

The ornate, dimensional pin is also sterling silver and features the shape of the continental United States with the façade of The Broadmoor at the center. A female figure skater, reminiscent of Sonja Henie, sits atop the pin and extends off the left-hand edge. The base of the convex pin represents a latitude and longitude-style globe and carries the event name, year, host site, and location: “World F.S.C. [where F.S.C. represents Figure Skating Championships], 1957, Broadmoor, Colorado Springs.” Like the teardrop pin, this pin features a traditional pinback and a slide mechanism to accommodate a bolo cord.

One can almost imagine Montie Montana using this pin as a bolo for a unique and unexpected conversation-starter. In more than 40 years of collecting, The Curator of The Netropolitan Museum has not seen another of this pin. It measures 1‑13/16″ x 1‑11/16″ (4.6 cm x 4.3 cm).

High quality pins like these do not exist today, unfortunately. But thankfully, they remain to help tell a story.

Enjoy this week’s figure skating pins blog: 1957 World Figure Skating Championships Pins: A Roundup from the Rodeo.

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