Objects Database

Rieker Ski boots

Accession Number


Object Name

Rieker Ski boots




Hermione Cooper

Accession Date


Brief Description

Pair of brown leather Reiker ski boots. Inner boot with black laces and outer boot with red laces. Metal eyelets. Nylon moulded sole.


leather, nylon, metal


29.5(l) cms

Number Of Objects

1 pair

Inscription Description



dark brown




The Scottish Ski Club passed on a large collection of skis and memorabilia to our Heritage Collection in 2008 and amongst it there were several items which had been donated by the Napier family. Andrew Napier wrote a wee history of the Napier's skiing exploits back in 2005 and we are delighted to re-produce it below:
My father's preferred way to explore mountains was by ski. He instilled in his children and extended family his love of finding out snow patches in all parts of Scotland, including the Moorfoot and Pentland hills. For the years that my father remained in the Army, the Pentlands were on our doorstep.
My father had taught himself to ski in Chitral in the late 1920s. News of the foundation of the Chitral Ski Club travelled far, and the only club badge made, by a fellow officer and an uncle on my mother's side, still has pride of place in the Ski Club of Toronto's badge collection.
In 1956, on completion of my father's time in Germany and his promotion to Brigadier, Scotland, with its skiable mountains and tradition of music, was the family's choice of new home. All but my youngest brother had already skied in Germany, Bavaria and the Alps. Curiously, on arrival, my father first took my mother, elder brother and sister to ski for three days near Helvelyn in preference to Scotland. They met no other skiers.
The first Scottish excursion was around 1958, when a reduced family party based themselves for six days in the Rothiemurchus Hut. They got further up the sides of the Lairig Ghru each day, leaving their skis at the snow line. On the last day, they skied down the Coire Cas headwall, surprising half a dozen skiers, the first they had seen.
My twin sister and I enjoyed our first Scottish skiing high on Glas Maol on the remnants of a cornice. In all our subsequent family excursions, I recall no more mean a patch.
Soon Morven, Bishop Carey's house in Kincraig, became our regular base for Easter family ski houseparties, and continued to be for three generations.
The family ski connection goes back to the first use of skis by tourists for ski touring in the Alps. Conan Doyle wrote in the Strand of his ski tour from Davos to Arosa and back, guided by the Branger brothers in 1894. Tobias Branger had ordered skis from the Swedish-Norwegian pavilion at the Paris international exhibition of 1889, inspired by Nansen's The First Crossing of Greenland. My father's uncle, Colonel Napier, arrived in Davos in late 1889 with his Norwegian servant, Nils Mlson, who had brought his skis with him. Nilson is remembered for skiing down from the hotel with a tea-tray for my Great Uncle. Nilson only stayed one season, without, it seems, passing on to the Branger brothers much of his technique. It was 1893 before the Brangers attempted their first serious ski excursion.
These were used by Jane Napier in the 1960's

Acquisition Method

passed on from Scottish Ski Club

Acquisition Date



SSC - Napier Family Collection

Condition Check Date



Spectrum : UK Museum documentation standard, V.3.1 2007



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