Last Updated on February 18, 2023 by Netropolitan Museum
Profile: Lapel Pins – 1963 European Championships, Budapest, Hungary
Now more than 60 years ago, the best figure skaters on the European continent came together in Budapest, Hungary, for the 1963 European Figure Skating Championships, held at the outdoor Kisstadion in early February. It was the fourth time the event had been contested in the Hungarian capital, with the most recent being the 1955 Championships, commemorated with a creative and unique lapel pin. And as you’ll discover, the creativity and uniqueness continued with the pins that marked the 1963 European Figure Skating Championships featured in today’s blog.
The snowflake is often used as a symbol of winter on sports pin, including for figure skating events, although it is not seen as often as one might expect. Snowflakes are beautifully varied with one underlying pattern: they always have six sides. For the logo pin that marked the 1963 European Championships, the snowflake crystal was interpreted in an unusual yet effective way and incorporates the colors of the Hungarian flag. Small illustrations of a more traditional snowflake pattern in white adorn the six points of the snowflake, which alternate in red and green.
One of the most unusually shaped pins issued for a championship event, the 1963 European Championships pin stands out among others, which are overwhelmingly either circular or rectangular shapes.
The enamel pin features a somewhat elementary drawing of a figure skater executing a stag jump. The proportions of the skater are exaggerated, which could have been successful, but instead simply appears more out of proportion than anything. Tucked along the inner six sides of the snowflake and surrounding the skater are the event name, location, and year: “Műkorcsolyázó és Jégtánc EB, Budapest, 1963.” The gold-color base metal of the pin frames the pin edges and snowflake points. One of the most unusually shaped pins issued for a championship event, the 1963 European Championships pin stands out among others, which are overwhelmingly either circular or rectangular shapes, sometimes with a variation or treatment to make them more unique. The 1963 pin measures approximately 1‑1/4″ x 1‑3/8″ (3.2 cm x 3.5 cm).
Next in the gallery is a series of special-issue pins with ribbons of varying colors. These variations, which use the main logo pin with a ribbon attached at the back, would have been produced in limited number and given only to officials and competitors to denote their special roles in the event. It can be conjectured that the pin adorned with the multi-color ribbon that mimics the Hungarian flag would have been given to the highest officials of the event, perhaps ISU delegates. The yellow ribbon could be seen as the color worn by competitors since it often is used to represent enthusiasm, vibrancy, and excitement. Similarly, the white ribbon perhaps could be seen as being worn by a judge, since white is an impartial color that favors no single hue and refuses to take sides (although that certainly could be debated when it comes to the judging of figure skating). Like the white ribbon, the blue ribbon was likely worn by an event official, since that color often is used to represent honesty, calmness, and sincerity. The pin with the multi-color ribbon measures approximately 1‑1/4″ x 3″ (3.2 cm x 7.6 cm) while the others all measure approximately 1‑1/4″ x 4 (3.2 cm x 10 cm), give or take an eighth inch.
If anyone has verifiable information as to the color representations for the ribbons used on the 1963 European Championships pins, please email The Netropolitan. Any historical or updated information is always welcomed.
Enjoy this week’s figure skating pins blog: 1963 European Figure Skating Championships Pins: Different But the Same. And be sure to read the museum story for more information about figure skating pins.
Pins Gallery: 1963 European Figure Skating Championships
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