Souvenir from the 1952 Olympic Games in Helsinki

The 1940 Olympics were to have been held in Helsinki, but were cancelled due to the war in Europe.  After the war ended, Helsinki was chosen to host the 1952 summer games.  These games are notable because it was the first time that the Soviet Union, The People’s Republic of China, and Israel competed.  The Republic of China (Taiwan) boycotted the games as a result of the Olympic Committee allowing the People’s Republic to compete.  Politics has always been a part of the Olympics, so it seems.

I love how the design of this scarf uses only the Olympic colors of blue, yellow, black, green, and red. Printed on rayon, it shows some of the more colorful and popular Olympic events.  I don’t seek out Olympic artifacts, but I had to have this one because of the representation of women athletes – the diver, the gymnast, and the equestrienne.

If you follow my Instagram account you might have seen this photo last week.  It was taken at the Charlotte Metrolina flea market/antiques show.  There were five or six huge tubs of vintage scarves, all priced at one dollar.  I stood with my friend Marge and we plowed through the piles of scarves, looking for treasure.  I found it in the form of this scarf and one from Liberty of London.  Two dollars very well spent!

I got to talking with the vendor and she told me she bought 20,000 scarves from a vintage seller who was going out of business.  There were so many that she had to take them to a cloth baler just so she could get them home.  She is now selling them at vintage shows like Metrolina.  The best ones start out at $5, and if they don’t sell they go to Metrolina for $1 each.  Even better, every month the scarves are different.  So if you attend Metrolina or Scott’s in Atlanta, look for the textile woman with the tubs of vintage scarf heaven.



Filed under Shopping, Summer Sports, Vintage Clothing

14 responses to “Souvenir from the 1952 Olympic Games in Helsinki

  1. Wow – what a fantastic scarf op!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Lizzie, it is amazing how quickly you recognize something as being rare vintage….what YOU can do for a scarf !

    I stood there next to you at Metrolina while we went through that whole pile of beautiful scarfs when you found that Helsinki Gem…… Makes me wonder how many OTHER gems I fail to recognized as rare vintage finds in my own travels.

    ….You have a great eye for finding things vintage. Nice to see you.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Marge, considering that I’ve been looking at vintage finds since I was a teenager, I should be able to recognize a thing or two. I’m sure I walk past wonderful things all the time, but unless it is made of cloth, I’ll probably not see the true value.

      It was wonderful spending some time with you.


  3. Christine

    Yes, Marge, and THAT’s why I follow this blog. It’s what Lizzie brings to the objects she finds. The scarf is a great find and piece of history through Lizzie’s eyes, knowledge and experience. But on my own, I would pass right by it. Thank you Lizzie.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. That is amazing! And what a treasure for sure!


  5. Wow, love that fab scarf! Does that women have any vintage Hermes hiding in there?


  6. Well, I’ll take a Helsinki Olympics scarf over a Hermes scarf any day!


  7. Oh my stars. I love scarves. I don’t think I would trust myself around those tubs. Great opportunity. Imagine how long it took the lady to collect them all. Sandy


  8. Pingback: Scarf Paradise | The Vintage Traveler

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