1960 European Figure Skating Championships Pins: Palmam Qui Meruit Ferat.

Profile: Lapel Pins and a Medal from the 1960 European Championships, Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany

Garmisch-Partenkirchen, in the Bavarian Alps, is sometimes said to be Germany’s undisputed winter sports capital. In support of that claim, one has only to look at the long history of sport associated with the city, including as host of the 1936 Olympic Winter Games, the 1956 World Figure Skating Championships, and the 1960 European Figure Skating Championships, the topic of this blog. By all accounts, it was a highly successful event, commemorated with a number of creative and well-produced figure skating pins.

Lapel pins from major sports events, not just figure skating, once were complex and interesting. The 1960 European Figure Skating Championships pins are among those that stand out today, more than six decades later, as high quality and thoughtfully designed souvenirs of the annual event. The main logo pin, shown first in the gallery, incorporates an illustration of a figure skating pair in a lyrical and dynamic pose. Swirls on the ice below hint at the motion of skating itself. The illustration is simple yet somehow complex, and the medium blue enamel background pushes the skaters forward and causes the viewer to focus solely on them. Along the top of the pin are the event location and year: “Garmisch-Partenkirchen, 1960.” Note the wide letter spacing on the year, an effective treatment that brings balance and airiness to the design. Stacked at the bottom is the event name: “Europameisterschaften im Eiskunstlauf.” The font used for “Eiskunstlauf” beautifully complements the illustration, creating a cohesiveness. This is design done well. The pin measures approximately 7/8″ x 1‑3/8″ (2.2 cm x 3.5 cm) and is on a silver-color base metal.

Lapel pins from major sports events, not just figure skating, once were complex and interesting. The 1960 European Figure Skating Championships pins are among those that stand out today.

Next in the gallery are three special-issue pins made for and given only to those with a role in the event. Each of the three pins, likely made in highly limited number, incorporates the main logo pin mounted to a larger base with a laurel leaf motif along the edges:

  • “Teilnehmer” (Competitor)
  • “Offiziell” (Official)
  • “Funktionär” (Functionary)

Note that these pins are on different color base metals: the Competitor pin on silver, the Official pin on gold, and the Functionary pin on bronze. It may have been a better decision had the Competitor pin been done in gold; competitors are, after all, the reason for the event, and gold denotes most important. Each pin measures approximately 1‑1/4″ x 1‑3/4″ (3.2 cm x 4.4 cm).

Showing next are two pins produced for members of the press that vary wildly from the main logo design, yet clearly are from the 1960 European Championships. Each is a pressed metal design with gold lettering but having a different color fill, and each features a thin, plastic-covered cutout area with a paper label inserted to indicate the wearer’s role:

  • “Presse-Ring”
  • “Presse-Rang”

These unusual and differently shaped pins measure approximately 2‑1/16″ x 1‑1/2″ (5.2 cm x 3.8 cm) each. It is unclear to The Curator of The Netropolitan Museum of Figure Skating Pins how the designations differ, but both represent the press. If anyone has information about “Presse-Ring” versus “Presse-Rang,” please email The Netropolitan.

The real star of today’s blog is the ISU bronze winner’s medal from the 1960 European Championships, awarded to Margret Göbl of Germany, who placed third in the pairs event with partner (and later husband) Franz Ningel. The Curator of The Netropolitan Museum of Figure Skating Pins acquired the medal from the estate of the late Göbl. Unlike the much larger ISU medals awarded today, those from earlier decades were modest and often were pin-on style with a short, colorful ribbon (as is this medal) rather than attached to a longer ribbon and worn around the neck. The face of the medal carries the Latin inscription “PALMAM QUI MERUIT FERAT”; meaning: “Let him who merits it, wear it.”* A branch, a symbol of victory in sports, adorns the center of the medal. The reverse is inscribed in English (the official language of the ISU): “European Championship, Pair Skating, Garmisch, 1960.” The medal overall measures approximately 1‑3/8″ x 3‑1/8″ (3.5 cm x 7.9 cm).

Enjoy this week’s figure skating pins blog: 1960 European Figure Skating Championships Pins: Palmam Qui Meruit Ferat.

*Translation from Skating magazine, as provided by the International Skating Union (ISU).

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