Profile: Medallion – 1978 European Championships, Strasbourg, France
Going back to at least the early 1950s, it was rare for a major event such as the World or European Figure Skating Championships not to be commemorated with a lapel pin—whether a souvenir version that was available for sale to the public or a special version produced in limited quantity and given only to competitors and officials. The 1978 European Figure Skating Championships is one such event, where instead of a pin made to mark the occasion, a well-made medallion in the form of a keychain was issued.
In their ground-breaking book Figure Skating Pins, published in 1987, Robert and Nancy Quinn note that a pin was not among the commemorative items made for the 1978 event, held in Strasbourg, France. To the recollection of The Curator of The Netropolitan Museum of Figure Skating Pins, this fact was confirmed through the Quinns’ correspondence with the Fédération Française des Sports de Glace (FFSG). However, other collectors have disputed this claim and have attested that a pin, in fact, does exist. In more than 40 years of collecting, The Curator has not seen a pin from the 1978 European Figure Skating Championships, and surely one would have emerged from obscurity by now. So, if anyone has a pin from this event, please email an image of the front and reverse to The Netropolitan.
On the face at the center is a highly stylized line drawing of a figure skater in an elegant layback position.
The medallion, made of a silver-color metal, is in done in relief on both sides. On the face at the center is a highly stylized line drawing of a figure skater in an elegant layback position. Swirls in a shape to mimic a skate blade are below the skater and further define the sport. A maker’s or artist’s mark is just to the right of the larger skate blade. Around the circumference of the medallion is the event name: “Championnats d’Europe de Patinage Artistique.” Centered and stacked at the bottom of the medallion are the event dates and location: “31 Janvier–5 Fevrier 1978, Strasbourg.”
On the reverse of the medallion at the center is a depiction of the Cathedral of Strasbourg, a well-known city landmark with origins dating to the 11th century. Tucked around the upper circumference are the city and year: “Strasbourg, 1978.” The singular spire of the cathedral (originally intended to have twin spires) rises majestically to separate the city name and year. The medallion measures approximately 1‑1/4″ in diameter (3.2 cm), excluding the upper notched area.
Enjoy this week’s figure skating pins blog: 1978 European Figure Skating Championships Pin: In the Form of a Medallion. And be sure to read the museum story for more information about figure skating pins.
Pin Gallery: 1978 European Figure Skating Championships
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