Ice Skates, used by Sonja Henie

Description (Brief)
Ice skates signed and worn by Sonja Henie (1912-1969.) The skate boots were hand made for Henie by noted craftsman Gustavo Stanzione. They are signed by Henie in blue ink, and are marked "SONJA" on the blades.
Henie was instrumental in popularizing the sport of figure skating, using an impressive array of spins and jumps to win three Olympic gold medals for her homeland of Norway (1928, 2932, 1936.) Wearing short skirts and white skates, she brough increased theatricallity and style to competition. Strikingly photogenic, Henie starred in ten Hollywood films, beginning with 1936's "One in a Million." She became a naturalized citizen of the United States in 1941.
Currently not on view
Object Name
ice skates
ice skates, pair of
date made
ca 1930-1950
Henie, Sonja
Physical Description
leather (overall material)
steel (overall material)
white (overall color)
grey (overall color)
overall: 11 in x 4 in x 12 in; 27.94 cm x 10.16 cm x 30.48 cm
place made
United States: New York, New York
ID Number
accession number
catalog number
Ice Skating
See more items in
Culture and the Arts: Sport and Leisure
Highlights from the Culture and the Arts Collection
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center


There were no skating boots like Stanzis in my day. Just walking into their showroom which was very simple but lined with photos of all the great skaters they had made their custom skates for created an aura that you were part of a special family. The boots seemed to have a magical quality that made you think that any jump or spin or compulsory figure was possible to execute perfectly. My first pair was white buckskin with a Strauss Five Star Finalist blade. Heaven!!!
Stanzione Boots. The most beautiful boots on the ice. They really glow!
Gustavo was my grandfather with his sons he continued to craft hand made ice skating boots into the 1960s. He refused to sell his name to a shoe company that wanted to produce the boots by machineL2
"Hi, In the 60's I was bought a pair of Stanzione's buckskin ice skates at 50 West 56th Street, New York City In which still have them today - My skating teach was Fritz Deitel - those were the days !!!!!!! I loved them then I love them today - still with their blade cover on and boot cover on them - part of a wonderful childhood - thank you !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"

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